Monday, August 16, 2010

Who is Joseph Albers?

Joseph Albers and Sewell Sillman
explored through two
August 9th through August 22, 2010

From left: Josef Albers,
Formulation: Articulation Folio II, Folder 12, 1972,
serigraph on paper, 15 x 40 inches. Gift of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. 1997.01.05.65L; Josef Albers, Formulation: Articulation Folio II, Folder 18, 1972, serigraph on paper, 15 x 40 inches. Gift of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. Asheville Art Museum Collection. 1997.01.05.65R.

Josef Albers and Sewell Sillman are intimately tied in terms of the artistic lives they led and the work they produced. When Sillman arrived at Black Mountain College, Albers was head of the art department. Initially interested in architecture, Sillman quickly displayed a passion for art under the tutelage of Albers. Sillman and Albers both shared a passion for color studies and were both instrumental in the formulation of Color Theory. Sillman eventually taught many of the courses that he took under Albers.

Sillman also continued to work with Albers through his print publishing firm, Ives-Sillman, founded with fellow Yale professor and graphic designer Norman Ives. Sillman used the knowledge he gained from years of color studies to successfully create color reproductions of fine art works. By focusing on screenprinting as a new medium for reproductions, these two were able to control the quality of their color prints, allowing them to introduce the fine art portfolio book to the United States. Their first and most frequent client was Josef Albers, who entrusted them with the production of two instrumental portfolios: Interaction of Color, a book based on Albers' lessons in color theory, and Formulation: Articulation, a retrospective reworking of some of Albers' greatest artistic achievements.

These two prints, now on display in the Museum's exhibition Sewell Sillman: Pushing Limits, are included in Albers' deluxe double portfolio Formulation: Articulation. Sillman recalled that the purpose of this portfolio was to allow Josef Albers the opportunity to take "every seminal idea that he's ever had and to redevelop it." Sillman was a key collaborator in creating this portfolio, for he helped Albers review his past work and select compositions to reproduce as screenprints.

All of the works in the Museum's Collection from Albers' portfolio, Formulation: Articulation, are now up on the Permanent Collection Archive.

Come in to see Sewell Sillman: Pushing Limits, which traverses the breadth of Sillman's career as a student, a businessman, a teacher, a collaborator, an artist and a friend.

Image: Eugenia Joyce, Sewell Sillman, Josef Albers, and Norman Ives at the completion of the Formulation: Articulation project in 1972. Photo by John Hill, Collection of James McNair.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Inside Scoop: Behind the Scenes

This summer has been exceptionally busy around the Museum and the summer interns have been working hard to keep up with all the events and work there has been. Luckily, I’ve had the honor of working with an extremely diverse group of fellow interns and have found that we’ve gotten a TON of work accomplished over the past three months!

All of us are scattered around different departments, so our work has been very different, but equally rewarding! Curatorial interns have been endlessly dedicated to adding pieces from our Permanent Collection to our online archive. This is an intimidating endeavor, since our Permanent Collection holds over 2,000 objects and 4,000 architectural drawings! Over the course of the summer, interns have managed to almost double the archive entries. That means countless hours spent researching, editing, typing and fact checking so that our Permanent Collection can be seen online by anyone, anytime, anywhere! Click here to peruse the collection!

Then there were those who spent their hours planning events, volunteering, organizing the Museum Shop and working on inventory. Some learned about grant writing and its importance to a great non-profit organization and others learned how to make a gallery installation go smoothly! And then some of us had the pleasure of writing the blog to let everyone know all the juicy details. :)
Curatorial Intern Freeman helped with the installation of the exhibition Sewell Sillman: Pushing Limits
Communications Intern DeeAnna (me!) and volunteer Nikki helped work the Asheville Art Museum booth at Bele Chere
Events Planning and Curatorial Intern Casey (right) had some fun at ArtMob's Summer Soiree event
All of the girls at the Seventh Asheville Wine Auction + Art Gala
From left to right: Casey, Lisa, DeeAnna, Lindsay, and Sarah

I would like to extend my gratitude to all of the interns and Museum staff for making this summer so enjoyable. Sometimes it didn’t even feel like work at all…