Disciples of Josef Albers Take the Spotlight in Dallas
“If one says ‘Red’ (the name
of a color)
and there are 50 people listening,
it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds.
And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different...”
—Interaction of Color , Albers, J., Yale University Press, 1963
His “Homage to the Square” series aside, Josef Albers might be considered the premier art professor of the 20th century. Though he began as a humble school teacher at the age of 20, he was the most tenured professor to teach at the Bauhaus, and once it closed in 1933, he quickly became influential in the U.S. While molding the young minds of Eva Hesse and Robert Rauschenberg, among many others, his own artistic career reached new heights, he published the ultimate color theory text, Interaction of Color, and he became the first living artist to have a solo show at the Met. A tour through David Richard Gallery’s Dallas Art Fair booth this week—a riot of color including works by Albers disciples Richard Anuszkiewicz and Julian Stanczak, and other modern and contemporary artists exploring Op Art and Color Field Painting—proves that Albers’s influence has immeasurable reach.
Like Albers, Anuszkiewicz—one of his Yale students—concerned himself with juxtapositions of color, and its relationship to form. He became a major figure in the rise of Op Art in the 1960s, a style based on principles of color theory that furthered Albers’s interest in visual perception. On view is a work from his popular “Translumina” series, which plays with optical illusions through contrasting, graduated striations and overlapping forms that push the limits of two-dimensionality. The gallery also offers two of the artist’s sculptural works—minimal, enameled steel structures that are elegant studies of negative space and intersecting lines.
On view nearby are the works by fellow Yale alum Julian Stanczak—two years Anuszkiewicz’s senior—who creates fantastic illusory paintings that seem to effervesce through layers of color and pattern. Stanczak often employs an uppermost application of dots, dashes, or lines that create depth and produce a vibrational effect with the planes and shapes of color below. These prime examples of his best known series—“see-through” and “grid”—evince the artist’s incredible exactitude and mastery of color, which he uses to create sensations and evoke emotions.
From Color Field paintings by Washington Color School pioneers Leon Berkowitz and Paul Reed, to intricately patterned compositions by Robert Swain, and vertical stripe meditations by Gabriele Evertz vertical stripes—to name a few—the entire booth is a pulsating celebration of color, in the spirit of Albers.
David Richard Gallery, Dallas Art Fair 2014, Booth F12, Apr. 10th–13th.