Sonic Albers | David Zwirner

David Zwirner hung a wonderful, museum-quality Josef Albers show at the mega-dealer’s 20th St. location in Chelsea. The show is called "Sonic Albers", and seeks to explore the artist’s relationship to music – an apt theme, but in point of fact, all of Albers’ work is related to music (in fairness, this is pointed out in the press release). So much of the language and terminology in the seminal book, "Interaction of Color", is borrowed from music theory, and the way that Albers thought about color intervals was quite consciously musical. I never tire of the Homage to the Square series, and there were an awful lot of beauties here, along with some studies, too. A pleasant surprise was "Double Homage to the Square" from 1957, in which the signature motif was presented side by side. Two oranges and a bright green in very close value alternate positions; on the left, the green acts as a frame, on the right the central motif. It glows and pulsates like op art, but a good many years before that style would rise to prominence. The record covers were a lot of fun, too – it’s important to remember that the Bauhaus crowd thought of art and design as being a closely related endeavor.

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