The influence of Anni & Josef Albers

colour studies in lilac and green, and brown and yellow by susan bijl

Now in Kunstmuseum Den Haag: the life and work of Anni and Josef Albers. This couple's art had an inestimable impact on the development of modern art – and shows a clear similarity with Susan's practice.  

The colour studies Susan creates for every collection have significant similarities with the studies of Anni and Josef. Our archives contain many documented experiments with colour and what happens when you connect two.


Anni Albers with Josef Albers, Variant: Cerul Blue Façade1960 and The New Shopping Bag in Break & Lilac


How Susan creates her colour combinations is never shown. Our dyehouse makes lab dips in uncoated ripstop nylon based on Pantone colours she selects carefully. Pieces of these dips float on her desk for weeks while she observes them. With a product in mind, focussing on both the base and the Flash, the colours need to function in the correct proportions.

Too much freedom can hinder us because of the mind-boggling amount of options it offers. Embracing limitations, therefore, when approached openly, can stimulate the imagination. This has a strong presence in the works of Anni and Josef and also in Susan's restrictive palette. With only 8 colours in a collection, Susan invites experiment.



Susan working on new colour combinations with lab dips from different collections


The exhibition shows how the life and work of this artist couple are closely interwoven. Although they both worked with different materials, they shared the same attitude to life, artistic vision, curiosity about the unknown and sources of inspiration. They both focused on experimentation and the challenge of creating the most innovative compositions based on self-imposed restrictions regarding colour, form or use of materials.

Anni Albers, Textile Steel, undated and The New Shopping Bag in Sport & Brown


Josef Albers devoted his working life to studying the physical and emotional impact of colour, initially producing geometric compositions in sandblasted glass. In his paintings, he developed a unique abstract idiom about the visual interaction of colours. These experiments eventually led to his now-famous series of paintings and graphic works entitled Homage to the Square, a seemingly endless series of harmonious colour combinations. 


Josef Albers, Homage to the Square, 1957 & The New Shopping Bag in Game & Oranda


The exhibition is open from 15 October 2022 till 15 January 2023. More information.  Excerpts about the exhibition taken from 

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