Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018

Solo en Inglès

“The hope was for me as an artist to lose control, and to have my control exist at the level of setting up the experiment.” —Ian Cheng

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018.

Josef Albers, White Line Square VI, 1966

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Christiane Paul: Josef Albers, in his Variant and Homage to the Square series, essentially explores color theory and the way we perceive color. 

Narrator: Christiane Paul is Adjunct Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney Museum.

Christiane Paul: So he is nesting squares or geometric forms in different ways that actually make us question what the foreground or background is, what kind of color we are looking at. And we think of Albers mostly in terms of color and perception, but what we are highlighting in this exhibition is that he's also using a rule-based system of actually creating those nested squares and nested forms. So you are also looking at instruction-based art.

What is important here is that ultimately he emphasizes the potential for variation, for generating all different kinds of variations. While we are looking at static images, there is this potential for the generation of more and more images and forms.

Squares of various oranges inside of each other.

Christiane Paul: Josef Albers, in his Variant and Homage to the Square series, essentially explores color theory and the way we perceive color. 

Narrator: Christiane Paul is Adjunct Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney Museum.

Christiane Paul: So he is nesting squares or geometric forms in different ways that actually make us question what the foreground or background is, what kind of color we are looking at. And we think of Albers mostly in terms of color and perception, but what we are highlighting in this exhibition is that he's also using a rule-based system of actually creating those nested squares and nested forms. So you are also looking at instruction-based art.

What is important here is that ultimately he emphasizes the potential for variation, for generating all different kinds of variations. While we are looking at static images, there is this potential for the generation of more and more images and forms.


Josef Albers, White Line Square VI, 1966, from the portfolio White Line Squares (Series I). Lithographs: sheet, 20 11/16 × 20 11/16 in. (52.5 × 52.5 cm); image, 15 11/16 × 15 11/16 in. (39.9 × 39.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of the artist 67.14.6. © 2018 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York