PRINT January 1972

On Albers' Color


IN AMERICA, IT HAS been the fate of Josef Albers to be identified as a “Constructivist” artist. If one accepts this classification, it is difficult to understand what influence—if any—he could have had on present-day American art. Nonetheless, although his presence has been less explicitly felt than that of a focal figure such as Hans Hofmann, there is perhaps not a painter living today in America who has not been acutely aware at some time during his career of Albers’ accomplishment in the area of perceptual experiments.

Constructivism, in its present-day usage in America, has connotations which set it at the opposite pole to the mainstream of postwar American painting. Although Albers was born in Germany, and participated in the initial phase of European geometric abstraction, the major development of his art to what it is today occurred in the United States in the 1940s. It is the

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