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Ten Variants, 1967

Graphic material, 10 elements 43.2 x 43.2 cm c/u
Josef Albers’ graphic work shows a rigorous aesthetic modernity, also reflected in his fascination for a wide range of techniques and materials. In 1950, at the age of 62, he began what became a long series of works based around the square. Starting from the work Homage to the Square, which acted as an embryo, he remained faithful to the idea of the square over the next 26 years, until his death in 1976. Beginning with painting, and later with printing techniques such as silkscreen, which he applied to different materials, this universal geometric shape became an ideal vehicle for Albers’ explorations into colour. He produced hundreds of variations based on a compositional scheme of three or four squares superimposed, one within another, but displaced or compressed toward the bottom of the composition. What initially seemed to be a conceptual framework of limited scope was revealed to be one of great conceptual complexity. In 1954, Albers wrote in his text On My ‘Homage to the Square’: ‘They are all different palettes, and, therefore, so to speak, of different climates. Choice of the colors used, as well as their order, is aimed at an interaction – influencing and changing each other back and forth. Thus, character and feeling alter from painting to painting without any additional 'hand writing' or, so-called, texture. Though the underlying symmetrical and quasi-concentric order of squares remains the same in all paintings – in proportion and placement – these same squares group or single themselves, connect and separate in many different ways.’

Technical details

Original title:
Ten Variants
Registration number:
Albers, Josef
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Graphic material
Screen print on paper
10 elements 43.2 x 43.2 cm c/u (height x width)
Edition number:
Ed. 194/200
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, VEGAP, Barcelona
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The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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