Gate Artist: Josef Albers (American, born Germany, 1888–1976, M.A. (Hon.) 1950, D.F.A. (Hon.) 1962)


Modern and Contemporary Art

Not on view

Josef Albers—who, along with his wife, Anni, a textile artist, studied and taught at the progressive Bauhaus school in Germany before it closed due to Nazi pressure—immigrated to the United States in 1933 to teach at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. In his new homeland, Albers turned to oil painting, a medium he had explored only rarely before. In Gate, incised white lines create twisted rectangular shapes and overlapping planes, which contradict the flatness of the support. Exploration of spatial relationships and perception of color was a leitmotif in Albers’s paintings and prints, and this work anticipates his famous Homage to the Square series that he began in 1950.


Oil on Masonite


49.5 × 51.3 cm (19 1/2 × 20 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Collection Société Anonyme

Accession Number



20th century


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 records is ongoing.


  • Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 168, ill.
  • Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 40, no. 4, ill.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

abstract (general art genre)


Signed lower right "A30" (30 is superscript)
Inscribed verso: "Gate/Albers 36" and see S.A. cat.
Inscribed verso: "Grundierung / Anfang Dezember 35 /1 X Wandfarbe. . . . . 1 X Wasserfarbe / reine Olfarbe / gespachtelt / ohne 1 X Malmittel / . . . . . Tempera / Mitte (Weiss) . . . . . / April 38 Varnished / with Taubers Matt Firnis / April 1938"

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