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Naples Yellow Center + 2 Greens + Black

Oil on board
19 5/8 x 25 3/8 inches
1948

As published in: Southern/Modern: Rediscovering Southern Art from the First Half of the Twentieth Century

As exhibited in:
The Wide Reach of the Bauhaus, 2021, Huntington Museum of Art, West Virginia 

Southern/Modern: Rediscovering Southern Art from the First Half of the Twentieth Century, 2023–2024, Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, 2023, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee, 2024

An influential figure at Germany’s Bauhaus school, Josef Albers left his homeland when the Nazi regime closed the avant-garde center in 1933. Arriving at Black Mountain College later that year, he introduced the same innovative artistic concepts to a new audience. As BMC’s director, he led Bauhaus-inspired courses on drawing, design, and color. In Naples Yellow Center + 2 Greens + Black, Albers juxtaposed rectangles in tones of yellow and green to challenge the viewer’s facilities of optical perception. For example, while some colors appear to occupy greater spatial zones, each hue covers an equal amount of surface area. As much an archival document as an art object, Naples Yellow Center + 2 Greens + Black retains Albers’ marginalia on color and composition, revealing the meticulous planning behind his geometric abstractions.

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