8 April - 8 May 1999

Josef Albers

Prints 1916 -1976

In April of this year the Alan Cristea Gallery will mount the most extensive exhibition ever held of Albers's prints, containing some seventy images dating from 1916 - 1976. This exhibition also marks Alan Cristea Gallery becoming the exclusive distributor for all the prints by Josef Albers from the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

The exhibition begins with the early lithographs and woodcuts made in his home town of Bottrop in Germany. These are all figurative prints, including self-portraits, images of animals and depictions of workers houses. The exhibition then traces his career from his days at the Bauhaus to his teaching posts at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and finally at Yale University. Visitors will be able to study the progression of his prints from his first figurative works, through his experiments in abstraction, finally culminating in his famous Homage to the Square images, to which a large part of the exhibition will be devoted. In the last ten year of his life he returned time and time again to this theme, which offered him the perfect compositional vehicle, in its manifold permutations, for the expression of his personal aesthetic.

Albers was a true printmaker who took enormous pleasure in experimenting with numerous media, including etching, drypoint, engraving, cork relief, lithography, and inkless intaglios, before finally settling on screenprinting as the ideal method for conveying the clarity and purity of his meticulous Homages.

The accompanying catalogue for the exhibition will contain fifty one illustrations, chosen to represent the diversity of his printmaking. The illustrations will be prefaced by an essay written by Nicholas Fox Weber, a long life student of Albers's work and the director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

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