January 10, 2013

New Textiles: "Portals 1 and 2", an Homage to Josef Albers

Portal 1 and 2, 2012, hand dyed wool on linen, each 9 x 12 in. 

After writing about the Josef Albers works on paper––you can read the blog post here––I felt that I wanted to make a textile freely based on his work, as an homage. I began with one, but decided to make a second piece, to have warm colors alongside the cool. 

Portal 1, 2012hand dyed wool on linen, 9 x 12 in.

Rather than use his famous "homage to the square" format, I was inspired by the earlier works of Albers that came from his visits to Mexico, his "Adobe" series (see below), which I turned into a more simple composition.

Portal 2, 2012, hand dyed wool on linen, 9 x 12 in.

I chose to divide each piece in half by cutting the loops on one side, the opposite side for each, which creates a different color because of the way the light bounces off the wool.

Portal 1, detail

In this detail, you can see how the color is affected by the cut loops. My idea to do this came from the color study for Homage to the Square below, where Albers used an area of varnish over the oil paint to see how it changed the color. The color shift is more subtle with this hooked textile, but it's there. I enjoyed making these simple statements of color, with a tip of the hat to Josef Albers. 

Josef Albers, Variant/Adobe, 1947; oil on blotting paper mounted on paper board, 17 1/4 x 24 in.

Josef Albers, Color Study for Homage to the Square, n.d.; oil on blotting paper with varnish, 13 1/4 x 12 in.


  1. These are beautiful and serene and add to the Albers vision. Very clever of you to use cut loops to simulate Albers use of color covered with varnish. Thanks.

  2. These are fabulous in their simplicity, color and texture. Have been enjoying yr blogs, but too busy to comment. Especially taken by yesterday's commentary in the Emptiness at the MET.

    1. Thanks Julie. And I'm glad you're enjoying the posts, whether you comment or not.