Tag Archives: Josef Albers

Painters’ Playing Cards

We are organizing, cataloging, and becoming entranced by Richard Dorso’s collection of 400 plus works. In addition to the overwhelming amount of art work, Dorso also amassed an incredible art book collection. While scouring through some of his books, I came across a handful of Art in America magazines. The one I picked up from April 1963 so happened to have this poignant article: “Painters’ Playing Cards”.

Words from the writer:
“Let us hope that the charming playing cards on these pages may help to lead the serious art of our time into a more living and casual intimacy with our everyday moments.”

The article consists of five paragraphs, and four artists’ interpretations of playing cards by George Biddle, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Jacob Lawrence, and Josef Albers.

Josef Albers playing cards.

Minimal and beautiful.

Art in America

Vol. 51, No. Two, April 1963.
Pages 39 – 42


Presented by A. Hyatt Mayer,
Curator of Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: October 13th

Josef & Anni Albers

Many people are aware of the Albers as husband and wife, teachers, and artists.  Josef’s most iconic works are his “homage to the square” images, which seem to have heralded the popular style of Hard Edge painting, which arrived decades later.  Anni, who is most known for her textiles, was also an accomplished print maker.  It seems today that the Albers’ graphic works are becoming very scarce.


In this auction we are offering a unique example of one of Josef Albers rarest graphic works.  Once more the optical illusion created in “Prefatio”  from 1942 (Lot 28, Estimated at $5,000-7,000) precedes the optical styles of Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, and other Op Artists by 25 years.  Notably, this example was a gift to James Prestini on the occasion of Prestini’s successful curated show on Albers work held at Texas Teachers College in 1942.

The work has been rolled in a tube and was only recently discovered.  It has been authenticated the by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and will be included as a unique variant in their catalogue raisonne.

Anni Albers print “Triadic Series D” (Lot 29, Estimated at $500-700) is also in outstanding fresh original condition and is being offered for the first time from the original owner who purchased it the year of its execution.

To view these two lots as well as the rest of the offerings in the October 17th Auction, please visit the LAMA online catalogue.

Lot Information:

Josef Albers
Ink on graph paper
Signed and dated lower right; dedicated lower middle; titled lower left
Unique proof aside from the two known editions of 30 and 4
Sheet 17” x 22”
Catalogue Raisonne #103
October 17, 2010

Anni Albers
“Triadic Series D”
Signed and dated lower right; edition lower left #29 of 60
Image 17” x 15”; Framed 24.5” x 22.5”
October 17, 2010 Auction