Edited by Nicholas Fox Weber. Texts by Juile Agoos, Fabio De Chirico, Fiona Kearney, Paolo Papone, Marco Pierini, and Colm Tóibín
Josef Albers (1888–1976) believed firmly in art’s spiritual dimension. Among his several aphorisms on the topic, none reflects the humble, ascetic character of his spiritual disposition better than the following: “Easy to know that diamonds are precious. Good to know that rubies have depth. But more to see that pebbles are miraculous.” Conceived by the renowned Albers expert Nicholas Fox Weber, who directed the Albers Foundation for 20 years and knew the artist well, Spirituality and Rigor presents a selection of work by Albers that illustrates his ascetic spirituality and his deeply felt Catholicism. The book stems in part from Fox Weber’s The Sacred Modernist: Josef Albers as a Catholic Artist, and is augmented with additional work by Fabio De Chirico. It includes Albers’s early drawings of country churches and cathedrals; “Rosa Mystica,” his stained glass window for St Michael’s Church, and other glass works containing religious imagery; his abstractions of crosses and geometric abstractions with spiritually themed titles, from his Black Mountain years; his prints of Mexican gods; photographic interpretations of the theme of angels; and a selection from the Homage to the Square series. This important volume is the most thorough portrait yet published of Albers’s spiritual convictions.