Albers and Morandi: Never Finished

David Zwirner
537 W 20th Street
Appointments encouraged
New York
Jan 7th 2021 — Mar 27th 2021

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Presented by David Zwirner, “Albers and Morandi: Never Finished” offers insight into two seminal twentieth century painters whose work, despite their formal differences, engages color and form through variations on visual themes.

Josef Albers’s development of geometric abstraction crystallizes in his 1950s and ‘60s series “Homage to the Square. In it, his paintings are distilled into form and color through squares of different shades and sizes nested inside each other. It is a repeated abstraction, each iteration venturing deeper into investigations of color theory, dimensionality, and perception. By contrast, Giorgio Morandi’s intimate still lifes of everyday interior objects take an understated approach to the study of color, form, and arrangement. Morandi makes use of a pale palette to render softened shapes that stack up across the picture plane. He sets his natura morta under a gentle light, illuminating the subtle tones of his objects. Seen together, these two artists’ works function as an extended meditation on the painter’s eternal question—how does one create space through pigment?

Josef Albers, Study to Homage to the Square, 1954. © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.