25 May 2018


Josef Albers in Mexico

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

– 3 September 2018



Josef Albers (1888–1976) was fascinated by Mexico; by the shapes, colours, and designs that he found ranging from fabrics, ceramics, buildings right up to excavations. He wrote: “Mexico is exciting and stimulating, over and over again. Mexico is truly a land of abstract art.”


Josef Albers, who, with his experiments in shape and colour, is considered to be a co-founder of the op art movement, undertook a total of 13 trips to Mexico after emigrating to the United States in the late 1960s. The reason for his frequent visits was to further investigate the archeological remains of pre-Colombian cultures, their buildings, sculptures, and ceramics. They proved to be a rich source of inspiration for him and his wife, Anni Albers, because early Mexican art and architecture featured many principles in its geometry, ornamentation, and colour schemes at the heart of Josef Albers’ abstract work. The exhibition, previously on show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, concentrates on six archeological sites often visited by the Albers, and displays photographs and paintings named after these places. In addition, audio recordings of personal letters, records and poems provide an enhanced insight into Josef Albers’ special relationship with Mexico. One audio clip is from a lecture at Harvard University, in which Albers says: “Seeing and selecting are more than to collect knowing something.”


Nº 283
The Power of Design

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