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Josef Albers
Homage to the Square, 1971

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Homage to the Square
Artist name
Josef Albers
Date created
20 1/2 in. × 20 1/2 in. (52.07 cm × 52.07 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Bequest of Dean Barnlund
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Audio Stories

Why did Albers make hundreds of Homages?

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NARRATOR: Josef Albers made more than a thousand arrangements like the ones you see here. Four differently colored squares, one nested inside of another.  Each of these works is part of a twenty-five year-long experiment he called “Homage to the Square.” 


JOSEPH ALBERS: They have a square within a square. I think one form demands, if you really deal with it, 1000 performances. 

SFX: Music  


ALBERS: I am interested in the interaction of color – that means, how does one change the other color? I want to have my colors act.  


SFX: Music 


ALBERS: I believe that art looks at us. You see, this, that has an eye. That I tried to do by very clean colors. I have hundreds of tones, but I do not mix them myself. They come out of the tube and I smear them on like butter on my pumpernickel.   


SFX: Music  


ALBERS: Color is always deceiving us. We almost never see what a color really is, what a color physically is.  There is a discrepancy between the physical fact somewhere in front of us, and the psychic effect. 

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Other Works by Josef Albers

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