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Homage to the Square: Vernal

Josef Albers (American, 1888–1976)

1957

Medium oil on Masonite Measurements H: 40 x W: 40 in. (101.6 x 101.6 cm) Credit Gift of G. David Thompson Accession Number 58.71 Location Not on View

Narrative

Featuring a motif of three or four nested squares of graduated sizes, colors, and hues, this deceptively simple composition is part of Josef Alber's Homage to the Square series. A German émigré, Albers began working on the series in 1949 while teaching at Yale. At the time of his death, he had completed a thousand such works. This lifelong study was devoted to the interaction and interdependence between colors within fixed conditions of proportion and placement. Albers was a major proponent of abstraction, which he considered both the art of the future and the purest and most spiritual form of visual expression.