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The Albers Foundation at NYC's The NOMA

Up close on unique art pieces from the twentieth-century modernism pioneers

by David Graver
on 03 August 2016

When one's mind wanders to places where art lingers, beyond museums and galleries, homes become the next natural conclusion. Initially, it's possible to imagine historic or even forgotten pieces in small Parisian attics, or American masters hiding in someone's garage Down South. But with The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation's partnership with future NYC residence The NOMA, unique works from both Anni and Josef are visible—in the sales gallery. Both of the Albers pioneered modernism and Josef Albers had a tremendous impact on everyone's understanding of the the interaction of color. Why, then, would the foundation contribute pieces to a sales gallery? The Albers Foundation's Director of Special Projects and Licensing, Lucy Swift Weber, has an answer.

Weber selected all of the pieces on display, as well as tapestry works by Christopher Farr that are based upon Josef Alber's square-inside-of-square color studies. Everything else is an original print. "When I first walked into the sales gallery, at the invite of a friend, I saw references to both Hauser & Wirth and David Zwirner," she explains to CH. "It initially caught me because we had recently announced an Josef Albers exhibition at Zwirner. But I saw the white walls of the showroom and knew we had to do something." There are two works from Josef Albers' "Formulation: Articulation" series. And then a very early work, from the '30s, called "Alpha." It's an uncommon piece, both simple and exceptional at once. As for Anni Albers, who is perhaps best known for her textiles, there are a series of original prints on display (which she started doing in the '70s). One of which is a study for a textile that was initially commissioned by the Camino Real hotel in Mexico City.

As for The NOMA—a tower with 55 condominiums across 24 floors, presently being erected on the southeast corner of West 30th Street and Sixth Avenue—developers Alchemy Properties partnered with FXFOWLE Architects and settled about a visual language that would pay homage to the neighborhood's industrial roots. With that in mind, they took inspiration from the Bauhaus movement—in essence, delivering a neo-Bauhaus aesthetic. "Everything about the spirit of the building, and the Bauhaus ideology, made this an appropriate fit," Weber concludes. "It's all about beautiful design that serves a purpose."

Images by David Graver

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