Josef Albers

American, born Germany (Bottrop, Germany, 1888 - 1976, New Haven, Connecticut)

Homage to the Square: Confident

1954
painting | oil on Masonite
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Homage to the Square: Confident

    Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: Confident, 1954; oil on Masonite, 24 in. x 24 in. (60.96 cm x 60.96 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Mrs. Anni Albers and the Josef Albers Foundation; © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


From 1949 until his death in 1976, Josef Albers created a series of paintings titled Homage to the Square. These works explore the artist's endless fascination with the discrepancy between how colors look when seen one at a time and how they appear in different combinations. In his writings on color theory, Albers noted that the way we experience color varies based on our individual personalities and on factors such as hue, dimension, and placement.

Albers chose the square for its neutrality: he felt that such a common shape would not distract viewers from their experience of color. To create a "pure" experience, he applied his pigments directly from the tubes in which they came, spreading them in thin layers onto the surface of the canvas.


24 in. x 24 in. (60.96 cm x 60.96 cm)
Acquired 1979
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Mrs. Anni Albers and the Josef Albers Foundation
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
79.123

Tags

squares, abstract, yellow, blue, orange, colors


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.