January 9, 2018

Eva Díaz: "Copies Have More Fun"

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Josef Albers, Study for Homage to the Square: Consent, 1971. Oil on Masonite, 40.3 x 40.2 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, gift, The Josef Albers Foundation. © 2017 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS).

In conjunction with the exhibition Josef Albers in Mexico, on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum through March 28, 2018, join Eva Díaz, Associate Professor, History of Art and Design, Pratt Institute, for a discussion on Josef Albers’s artistic and teaching practices.

Three quarters of a century after Josef Albers first visited Mexico, artist Jill Magid learned that for many years architect Luis Barragán had displayed two replica Homage to the Square paintings based on those by his friend Albers in his Mexico City home. Though Barragán hadn’t produced his this way, Magid used the annotations on the back of Albers’s works to paint her own body of copies modeled on the Homages. She went on to show her series, cleverly titled Homage, in Switzerland, building on a controversial body of work about the lack of public access to Barragán’s archives, which are housed in Basel.

Some of Magid’s remade Albers paintings are framed and then embedded within square format exhibition catalogues that are mounted on the wall, creating intentionally awkward objects both physically and symbolically—framed, handmade paintings (forgeries) that are interjected into the space of authorized copy images (the photographs of the Albers originals reproduced in the catalogues). Her forged copies explore issues not merely about subtle perception, but about contextual perception—asking what is an original, what is a duplication, and under what circumstances? Albers’s own work could be said to be a monumental project of generative repetition, as he produced over one thousand Homages in his lifetime.

This talk will examine how Albers made pedagogical outreach a central part of his work, especially when the stakes of an educational process were understood as a creative enterprise that impelled personal growth and social transformation. He did this by offering perceptual tests through variation, seriality, and systems, as well as by implicitly allowing—in a remarkably nonproprietary way—that viewers might enact their own versions of his works, just as Magid did.

The program concludes with an exhibition viewing of Josef Albers in Mexico and reception.

15 USD, 10 USD members, free for students with RSVP

A prgoram of the Sackler Center for Arts Education. For education funders, visit our website.

Major support for Josef Albers in Mexico is provided by LLWW Foundation. Funding is also provided by the Robert Lehman Foundation, the Mex-Am Cultural Foundation, Inc., and The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York with the Consulate General of Mexico and AMEXCID. The Leadership Committee for this exhibition is gratefully acknowledged for its generosity, with special thanks to Alice and Thomas Tisch; David Zwirner, New York/London; Lisa and John Miller; and Louisa Stude Sarofim.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.