Josef & Anni Albers Foundation


Gray Instrumentations

Josef had worked for many years with printmaker Kenneth Tyler. They collaborated easily, and Josef considered Ken an innovator in printmaking technique. Josef was particularly pleased when Ken developed a technique whereby the prints could be made in a process akin to that of Josef’s paintings: with no ink printed on top of another, but, rather, with each ink printed directed on white paper. Until then, the method of printing Homages had been to have the largest square printed first, then the second largest printed on top of it, then the third, and, in the case of the four-square Homages, then the fourth, smallest, square on top of that. But to Josef’s delight, Ken was able to achieve the precise registration necessary for the inks to be applied adjacent to one another without visible overlapping. Josef used this new technique to make his two series of “Gray Instrumentation” prints. He did Gray Instrumentation I and Gray Instrumentation II in the 1970s, and they are unparalleled in their beauty and subtlety. Little in life delighted Josef and Anni more than their regular forays to the new Tyler Print Workshop in Bedford Village, New York—sometimes to supervise the press work, sometimes to sign and number the prints in pencil.

Gray Instrumentation II, Plus II