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Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
Artist: Josef Albers, American, born Germany, 1888–1976, M.A. (HON.) 1950, D.F.A. (HON.) 1962

Weisser Kreis (White Circle)

1933

Woodcut

block: 26.9 × 35.3 cm (10 9/16 × 13 7/8 in.)
sheet: 35.5 × 50.4 cm (14 × 19 13/16 in.)
Gift of Collection Société Anonyme
1941.327
Josef Albers returned to printmaking, a technique he had used in his early career, in his final months in Germany before his departure in late 1933. These woodcuts introduce the themes of seriality and perception of color and form that Albers would investigate throughout his career in the United States, first at Black Mountain College and then at the Yale School of Art. These two similar prints appear to be the inverses of each other. Yet, upon closer looking, subtle variations indicate that the forms and lines are not reproduced but altered. For one, the different densities of wood grain captured in Schwarzer Kreis contrast with the bold regularity of the field of horizontal lines in Weisser Kreis. Thus, it is impossible to determine which print was made first; this question of origin evokes Albers’s own state of limbo between the home he left behind and his new one.
Geography: 
Made in Germany
or made in United States
Culture: 
American, German
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Bibliography: 

Frauke V. Josenhans et al., Artists in Exile: Expressions of Loss and Hope (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2017), 133, fig. 2.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.