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Albers painted, for the most part, on untempered wood fibre-board panels, frequently masonite, although some of his earlier painted works are on other composition boards, and some are painted on aluminum. He also did a number of oils on blotting paper. He disliked canvas, as he felt it was too soft and absorbant. Instead, he favored the rigidity of the panels, where his painter's knife could glide smoothly over the surface maintaining a near-perfect, flat effect. Albers felt the rigid surface permitted the color to project more.

These panels were carefully selected by Albers for their regularity. In the earlier paintings of the forties and fifties, Albers painted on the smooth side of the panels, priming them, as Doerner suggests, on both sides, to reduce warpage. Albers' grounds were always as white as possible to allow for the most luminous and pure painted surface. As time went on, Albers switched to painting on the rough side of the boards, for he felt that the paint adhered better and he could ultimately achieve a flatter, smoother surface. He no longer primed the reverse, as he discovered this led to the possible development of dry rot. Instead of in effect “sealing” the panel, he found he could reduce warpage equally effectively by merely rubbing linseed oil into the reverse.
thx joe c
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