Saturday, 17 May 2014

Josef Albers: Black & White

To Cork Street for more monochromatic art. This time the work of Josef Albers whom I had previously known for his colourful "Homage To The Square" series. Josef Albers: Black and White, currently on show at Waddington Custot, was then a bit of a revelation to me as it showcases a variety of his experimental black and white pieces including photography, engravings on vinylite and glass pieces. 

I particularly liked the abstract, graphic, linear quality of the pieces on show which explore space and play tricks on the eye like optical illusions. It was interesting to see his work restricted to the challenges of a self-imposed monochromatic tonal palette, and being able to contrast it with his more well-known work dealing with planes of solid colour. I loved the Constellation pieces like the work below, which were white lines etched into black vinyl. Some were sand-blasted in areas to give a combination of matte and shiny surfaces which were tactile and graphic.

Certain pieces reminded of the work of Ben Nicholson, and for some reason the cover of Joy Division's seminal album Unknown Pleasures (below).

The linear geometry of Albers' black and white work also brought to mind the lovely architectural inspired etchings of Bronwen Sleigh (below), seen recently at the London Original Print Fair, which also explore space with a series of drawn lines and planes.

Josef Albers: Black and White
until June 2nd
Waddington Custot
11 Cork Street