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Homage to the Square: Diffused, 1969

Together with his wife, the textile artist Anni Albers, Josef Albers immigrated to the United States in 1933 to escape the Nazi regime. Having been an instructor at the Bauhaus in Germany, Albers became a renowned teacher in his adopted home, first at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and later at Yale University. In 1964 he published the influential text Interaction of Color, a handbook based on the color course he had developed over four decades of teaching.

Homage to the Square: Diffused is one of hundreds of concentric-square paintings the artist made between 1949 and 1976. Each work in the series is designed to demonstrate the complex perceptual effects produced by the interaction of different colors. On the back of this panel Albers specified the four colors and brands of yellow paint used, all of which he applied with a brush in one coat directly out of the tube. His systematic approach and his use of unmixed, commercially available paints links his work to that of a younger generation of Pop and Minimal artists of the 1950s and 1960s.

-Sidney Simon, PhD ‘18