The Elliott Museum’s 3rd exhibit in commemoration of its grand re-opening celebrates Josef Albers’ extensive contribution as an artist and educator, on display November 8, 2013 – February 3, 2014, http://elliottmuseumfl.org/
In “Albers & Heirs: Josef Albers, Neil Welliver, and Jane Davis Doggett,” the Elliott Museum, open year-round Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., will continue its commitment to combine traditional museum experiences with interactive learning. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will take part in hands-on color experiments, enabling them to create their own color palettes, to experience and explain color-blindness, and ultimately, how colors combine to complement and confound.
A number of Albers’ paintings will be on display, as well as the work of two of his students; Neil Welliver and Jane Davis Doggett. Welliver and Doggett mastered Albers’ discipline of the interaction of color, and made it, in decidedly different ways, central to their work.
Josef Albers, (1888-1976), one of the twentieth-century’s most influential artists and art educators, was fascinated with color and its innate ability to create optical effects. Albers studied the interaction of color — in combination, in competition, how it could complement and confound. In his paintings and through his time as head of Yale University’s Department of Design, he challenged people to see and dissect the mechanics of color.
He became a master at teaching and painting many of what are now considered the basic laws of color usage in art and design: the use of negative space, the effect of the after image, depth perception, form through color and the optics of color.
Jane Davis Doggett, an internationally acclaimed graphic designer, is one of the pioneering women artists to have trained at the Yale School of Art and Architecture during its modernist heyday.
Her colorful and comprehensive thematic graphic identity and wayfinding systems now enliven many public complexes, including 40 international airport projects — more than any other designer in the world. Doggett has received acclaim for her designs on an international scale with her work published in Italy, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
She initiated the use of color-coding and letters — A, B, C, etc. — to identify and index airport terminals which she rendered in large iconic graphics on approach roadway signage and extended throughout the terminals interior graphics. She also initiated the concept of thematic graphics to project the airport as a gateway, symbolizing unique geographic and cultural aspects of the area that each airport serves. Examples include: Tampa, Baltimore-Washington, Miami, Newark, Cleveland-Hopkins and George Bush-Houston. 20 million airport passengers a year are guided by her wayfinding signage and graphics. Her designs have earned distinguished honors: American Institute of Architects’ National Award of Merit, Progressive Architecture Design Award, American Iron and Steel Institute’s Design in Steel Citation, and two Design Awards co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
She has served four elected terms as Commissioner of the Town of Jupiter Island. She is a charter member and co-founder of the Town Arts Committee. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Nature Conservancy at Blowing Rocks, Jupiter Island, and on the Executive Committee of the Jupiter Island Garden Club, Zone VIII, Garden Club of America. In 2007, she received the Outstanding Alumna Award from Newcomb College. In 2008, she was elected a Sterling Fellow of Yale.
Beginning with Talking Graphics, her first published book, in 2007, she created IconoChrome™ images: geometric designs in colors expressing philosophically profound messages — proverbs, quotations and sayings from various cultures. It is a book for lovers of both art and literature.
In an innovative design approach, Doggett’s original hand drawings are scanned in segments into Adobe Vector templates on an Apple computer, a design process she has termed electronic silk screening. Because the software is vector — as apposed to pixel — images can be enlarged into prints virtually any size and still remain in “focus.”
In 2012, Yale acquired in their permanent art collection her 23rd Psalm sculpture — 12 boxes wrapped in her color geometric images expressing the passages of the Psalm. The sculpture is installed in the Saint Thomas More Center at Yale, an impressive modern building by Architect César Pelli. Produced by the same computer process are recent landscape renderings that express natural environments in her experiences living by the water – which she calls “Waterscapes” ©.
Vector images have been enlarged into panels, murals and three-dimensional objects, which have been displayed in featured exhibitions including: Yale University Art Gallery; Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN; Lighthouse Art Center, Tequesta; Northern Trust, North Palm Beach; and Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach. Exhibitions include: Maritime and Classic Boat Museum, Jensen Beach; College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine; and continuation of display of her murals at Tampa International Airport.
In her later years she has returned to her artistic roots, exploring how color, geometry, and literature combine to explore and express profound cultural truths. Whereas Albers comes to color to explore, and Welliver to conquer, Doggett uses color as an open invitation.
Neil Welliver, (1929 – 2005), a modern artist known for large scale landscape paintings, used color boldly in his work. Both through the density of color represented and in his use of paint on top of paint Welliver communicates depth in his works. Often spending days by himself in the wild, Welliver used unspoiled wilderness as his primary subject matter.
He often focused on capturing light and landscape through color intensity and density. In his paintings, Welliver makes color “behave,” an Albers term, to communicate season, time of day, and, most importantly, a new way of communicating depth in a painting.