New York

Josef Albers

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York

Josef Albers’ photographs and his early work with glass suggest that his career might have taken another, perhaps more frutitful, turn had he not abandoned both media in favor of a somewhat didactic investigation of abstract painting. It was not only Germany that Albers left behind when he fled the Nazis and came to America. A glass master of the Bauhaus, he gave up the great potential and innovative expressivity of the medium to concentrate on painting, producing a body of work that was less than inspired and, in the end, had only a minor influence on Minimalist painting and hard-edged abstraction. The question raised by this exhibition, which comprised all three facets of his career, is why Albers felt compelled to limit his production in this way.

In part, at least, this constriction of his range can be traced to the fact that Albers seems to have been caught in the midst of conflicting

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