Josef Albers
Homage to the Square, 1957

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.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Homage to the Square
Artist name
Josef Albers
Date created
oil on masonite
23 7/8 in. × 23 7/8 in. (60.64 cm × 60.64 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Anni Albers and the Josef Albers Foundation
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Josef Albers

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