The Grid

Maybe it's because I need some structure right now in my own life that I turn to The Grid to start the first post in the new year. (previously posted in January 2015). Somehow the idea of formal, structural work that is built up from line, shape, and color is connecting with me in the first phase of 2015. Order yet with rebellious undertones.  The work created by these four artists, Anni Albers, Agnes Martin, Richard Anuszkiewicz, and Sol Lewitt are regular sources of inspiration. 

Anni Albers, Open Letter, 1958, Weaving, Cotton

Anni Albers, Open Letter, 1958, Weaving, Cotton

Textile designer, weaver, writer and printmaker, Anni Albers (1899-1994) inspired a reconsideration of fabrics as an art form, both in their functional roles and as wallhangings. (albersfoundation). Her formative influence on so many artists was comparable to her husband Josef but often less considered. In weaving, prints + jewelry her work remains a force.

Black, White, Red, 1926/64; Cotton + Silk

Black, White, Red, 1926/64; Cotton + Silk

Rug Design for a children's room, 1928. Gouache on Paper. All images courtesy of the Albers Foundation, an outstanding source of information. 

Rug Design for a children's room, 1928. Gouache on Paper. All images courtesy of the Albers Foundation, an outstanding source of information. 

Agnes Martin (1912-2004)  is one of the first people that comes to mind when I think of the grid. Soulful, subtle, powerful, Martin's work is often referred to as floating, or transcendent for a reason. Her ability to transform lines, grids and fields of color into something wholly other is inspiring as well as are her writings about art and the influence of Eastern philosophies on her work and life. She was raised in Vancouver, lived in NYC for a time but spent most of her life in New Mexico after 1967. 

Agnes Martin, Wood, 1964, Ink on Paper © 2015 Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Agnes Martin, Wood, 1964, Ink on Paper © 2015 Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Tremolo, 1962, Gouache on Paper © 2015 Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Tremolo, 1962, Gouache on Paper

© 2015 Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Untitled, from the portfolio, On a Clear Day, 1973, Screen print

Untitled, from the portfolio, On a Clear Day, 1973, Screen print

Richard Anuszkiewicz, b. 1930, should be more of a household name. Having studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art (1948-53) and then with Josef Albers at Yale University School of Art from 1953-55, he is one of the leading artists of the Op-Art movement from the 1960s-1970s, his work constantly and continuously challenging formal, structural and color effects. He has had a long, strong, and experimental career that deserves a retrospective soon! 

All images courtesy of his fantastic website: richardanuszkiewicz.com

Richard Anuszkiewicz, Spectral Squares, 1966, Screen Print

Richard Anuszkiewicz, Spectral Squares, 1966, Screen Print

League of Women Voters, 1969, screen print

League of Women Voters, 1969, screen print

Monument Valley, 1970, Acrylic on Canvas

Monument Valley, 1970, Acrylic on Canvas

Sol Lewitt (1928-2007) was a pioneer in the movements of conceptualism and minimalism. His work, both graphic and multidimensional, crossed into printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture (or structures, as he preferred), and enormous wall drawings and installation. Using line, color and shape, he produced a vast body of work and his his precise calculations and meticulous working process is legendary. 

Sol Lewitt, Open Geometric Structure 3, 1990, Painted Wood

Sol Lewitt, Open Geometric Structure 3, 1990, Painted Wood

Successive Rows of Horizontal Straight Lines from Top to Bottom and Vertical Straight Lines from Left to Right, 1972 © 2015 Estate of Sol Lewitt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Successive Rows of Horizontal Straight Lines from Top to Bottom and Vertical Straight Lines from Left to Right, 1972

© 2015 Estate of Sol Lewitt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Cubic Modular Wall Structure Block, 1966, Painted Wood.Photo: © 2015 Sol Lewitt/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Cubic Modular Wall Structure Block, 1966, Painted Wood.Photo: © 2015 Sol Lewitt/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York