“Josef Albers in Mexico” in New York’s Guggenheim Museum

Photo collages, early paintings among Josef Albers’ Mexico-inspired works at Guggenheim NY

Nov 01, 2017 | By Andrea Sim

Josef Albers Untitled (Mitla, Mexico), 1956 | Image courtesy of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

New York’s Guggenheim Museum is pleased to present “Josef Albers in Mexico” in an exhibition that will observe the correlation between pre-Columbian monuments and the art of German-born artist Josef Albers.

Born in Bottrop, Germany, Josef Albers (1888-1976) has experience in art across disciplines from painting and printmaking to architecture. His keen interest in art and love in photography has taken him on adventurous journeys to different parts of the world.

One of his iconic works featured in the museum took him on a travel through the world of shadows and frequently visited the archaeological sites, from Mexico to other Latin American countries (1935 to 1967), to capture hundreds of black-and-white photographs of the beauty and dimensions of pyramids, shrines, and sanctuaries.

“The purpose of the frequent journeys to the monuments of ancient Mesoamerica; amid a resurgence of interest in pre-Columbian art and culture, archaeologists were increasingly excavating the past.”

This presentation at the Guggenheim Museum features Albers’ photos in collages – a group multiple variously-sized images on paperboard sheets to suggest “a key relationship between the pre-Columbian monuments’ geometric designs and the artist’s iconic abstract works on paper and canvas.”

Josef Albers Untitled (Great Pyramid, Tenayuca, Mexico), ca. 1940 | Image courtesy of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

“Several of his abstract works are even titled after key sites in Mexico. The Guggenheim presentation emphasises these formal resonances between the two bodies of work,” AFP reported.

Also, perhaps is his talented nature, artistic roots or call it a “cultivated interest”, Alber has explored art works in another form of art medium too; the “Homage to the Square” series and “Variant/Adobe” series that the museum is currently exhibiting are the rarely-shown early paintings and iconic canvases, plus works on paper.

The exhibition of Josef Albers range of artworks will run from Nov 2, 2017 to Feb 18, 2018)  and the exhibition also includes the followings:

  • The illustrated catalogue includes writings by Albers and an illustrated map documenting the journeys.
  • Albers’ legacy of education — an essential element of his lifetime practice — will be reflected in public programmes, such as a workshop for educators on the colour theory he developed in 1964 called “Interactions of Colour.”

Learn more about “Josef Albers in Mexico” at



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