One of the most influential artist-educators of the twentieth century, Josef Albers (1888–1976) taught innovative courses at the Bauhaus in Germany in the 1920s, at Black Mountain College in the 1930s and 1940s, and at Yale University in the 1950s. In his classes, he encouraged students to see principles of form and function anew. Albers and other Bauhaus artists developed a new process of creative visual thinking that sought to break away from the classicism and tradition that defined art of the past. Albers was especially concerned with developing a “sensitive eye” for color, “the most relative medium in art.” Through his writing, teaching, paintings, and prints, Albers sought to understand how colors interacted.
Inspired by Albers’s ideas, Color Shiftpresents artworks from the early twentieth century to the present that explore color relationships within abstract compositions. Drawn primarily from the BAM/PFA collection, this focused presentation includes an array media, styles, and techniques—Abstract Expressionist paintings by Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko; the geometric patterning of Josef Albers, Jennifer Bartlett, and Xylor Jane; the carefully crafted ceramics of Ron Nagle; and Ruth Laskey’s intricately woven textiles—all of which demonstrate the contingent nature of color.
Color Shift is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator. The exhibition is generously supported by Joan E. Roebuck and Laura and David Perry.