Nov 19, 2020 - Sale 2552

Sale 2552 - Lot 136

Price Realized: $ 10,625
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000

Lithograph on Serir Whitewove paper, 1942. 215x398 mm; 8 1/2x18 5/8 inches, full margins. Signed, titled, dated and numbered 3/30 in pencil, lower margin. Printed by Reinhard Schulmann, Hickory, North Carolina. From Graphic Tectonics. A very good impression of this extremely scarce lithograph.

We have not found another impression at auction in the past 30 years.

In 1941, Albers (1888-1976) was invited by Walter Gropius (with whom he collaborated previously at the Bauhaus, Weimar; Gropius was the founder of the famed modern art and design school, Albers was first a student then a young instructor during the early 1920s) to teach at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. While at Harvard he started a series of drawings that aimed to challenge the nature and aims of graphic art. Conventional drawing was based on a modulated line to create the illusion of space on a two-dimensional surface; Albers combined a series of unmodulated thick and thin lines in precisely drawn compositions to show that, even with the constraints of the unmodulated line, graphic art could achieve movement and depth on the page.

The drawings formed the basis for a series of lithographs the following year. The Graphic Tectonics series marked a shift in Albers' printmaking output. Prior to this, he had been experimenting with drypoint and free-flowing lines. Instead, he turned to using straight-edges to create precise compositions more associated with machine-made than handmade, and the series is a precursor of the work that dominated the remainder of his career, including his iconic exploration of color theory employing squares and other hard-edged geometric forms (see lot 137 and lot 138). Danilowitz 104.