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On Tideland

1947-1955 Josef Albers Born: Bottrop, Germany 1888 Died: New Haven, Connecticut 1976 oil on fiberboard 27 1/4 x 36 in. (69.2 x 91.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost 1986.92.1 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

The playful asymmetry of On Tideland results from Albers’s use of only three colors: gray, ochre, and a rosy orange. The large gray “background” has a blue cast when adjacent to ochre and seems to recede in space, but that same gray in the smaller vertical forms seems to take on a different hue when placed beside the pinkish orange. Meanwhile, the gray rectangle on the right appears to be twice as wide as the one on the left, although in fact it is three times broader, and reveals Albers’s goal to examine the “exciting discrepancy between physical fact and visual effect.”

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008

Keywords

Abstract - geometric

painting

paint - oil

fiberboard

About Josef Albers

Born: Bottrop, Germany 1888 Died: New Haven, Connecticut 1976

More works in the collection by
Josef Albers