RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

27 March 2007

Interaction of Color. Josef Albers, 1963.


Josef Albers. INTERACTION OF COLOR. Yale University Press, 1963.

Current Selling Prices
$3500-$6000 /£1800-£3200


ART / COLOR THEORY
A copy we sold in 2003 we descibed thus:-'Small folio. 1963. 2 volume set in dark brown textured cloth original printed slip case. Two folio volumes: Volume One contains 80 pages of Albers poetic text. Volume Two contains 80 serigraph colour plates (complete) loosely inserted in a folder. They are arranged to show the effects a variety of colours have on each other, together with these is a 48 page 'Commentary' in plain black wraps. Among the 'authors' of the serigraphs is the US poet Mark Strand, a pupil of Albers who contributes 2 serigraphs. Books are also bound in dark brown textured cloth and are near fine , as is the slip case..'

I see this slip-case sometimes described as a box (a 'cloth drop-back box' on one occasion.) It can show up with less than its compliment of plates - one seller explains (he had 79 out of the 80) - 'Apparently it was common for the publisher to miscount in this particular book and not include all of the screen prints.' All copies in auction have had 80, although I have seen people selling the Mark Strand ones separately but only for a few hundred dollars. Not sure how many were printed but copies seem to show up almost every year, none on net at present, although Google reveals a dealer with one with 'price on demand' - usually means an unpalatable sum.



VALUE? Our copy sold after about 6 months at circa $3800. A copy (the one with 79) seems to have shifted in 2006 at $5500 and another copy at Swann in NY in 2005 made $7500, although in 2006 a copy made $3000, possibly in lesser condition. A slightly volatile book that can dip beneath $2500 and scale $7K, condition, as always, a factor. Most copies seem to go through Swann, possibly Albers in original state is a New York taste. The book has been much reprinted as a paperback and is used in art schools throughout the world. [ W/Q ** ]

15 comments:

paper.moon said...

I recently came across the "folio" or box with 79 folders, serigraphs & dust sheets, but no book. I would love to complete the set before trying to sell it, but am unsure what the book actually looks like. Is the artwork on your site also printed on the front of the book? Or is the book covered in brown cloth similar to the box itself? Where can I find a list of the numbered serigraphs so that I can determine if there is a missing folder?

Bookride said...

The serigraph illustrated is just one of the illustratioins NOT the cover. I cant recall the binding, there is one for sale at www.zuckerartbooks.com/ cgi-bin/zucker/396.html and the one with 79 plates was at Waiting for Godot books as I recall and they sold it for a goodly sum. You could wait quite a while for the 80th plate. A broken set might show at ebay--good luck. N

Anonymous said...

I own a complete box set of the original Interaction of Color (1963) - all books and plates in excellent condition. (Probably viewed less than a dozen times) I replaced the original acid paper liners (which were still with each plate when I bought it from a public library) with archival glasscine to protect the screenprints. Note: Some of the plates are actually offset lithography as they are reproductions of course projects using collage materials and color models. I have used it for post secondary educational purposes on color theory - but find the lessons limited and redundant. Best kept and valued for the quality of the screen prints which are sooooo rich and elegant that the Albers structural imagery influence is evident.

I wish to sell only to a serious collector or advanced library collection.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Please post a comment on how you may be contacted re the sale of your complete folio.

dana said...

Late in the game on this item, but I have one that's the complete folio (with all 80 serigraphs/lithographs (all with liners). Interested in selling. Wondered if there was more up-to-date pricing/sale $ info, and if Swann was still 'the' best place to go with it? Thanks for the advice! (If I lived in England I would use your shop to sell it!).

Anonymous said...

Dana - I would be interested in purchasing. You can contact me at swmiami@aol.com. I've always loved the book and when I noticed a new edition this year it casued me to think about the original and i happened upon your website while looking on the internet. thanks

Kristin said...

I have the set (book and original serigraphs/lithographs) that is in very good condition (rarely viewed). Any interest from a serious collector or library? It is of sentimental value and I wish to sell to someone who understands its value to the art/design community.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the Interaction of Color prospectus is worth (sent in a bifold with folder VI-3, sample commentary, and an index)?

jasonm said...

I am looking to sell a copy of the 1963 edition on behalf of a late friend's family. It appears to be complete with all 80 plates. Please let me know if anyone out there is interested.- Jason

Lorna said...

I have the original 1963 slip case set in excellent condition with all 80 serigraphs/lithographs. This was a gift to me, but I am currently looking to sell to someone with an equal appreciation for rare art books. If you are seriously interested, please contact me: lorna at lornanakell dot com.

Unknown said...

Only serious inquiries please.

I am possibly willing to sell my complete, original and flawless 1963 edition of Josef Albers Interaction of Color.
The Plates are a complete set of 80 Serigraphs/Lithographs and ALL are in perfect untouched condition. In fact I have never taken them out to study, only to verify their condition and wholeness. This is a remarkably well preserved edition. It has been a family Heirloom passed down from my father who worked at IBM in Poughkeepsie, New York and I hate to part with it but I am in the midst of starting my own Architectural Firm....www.ArcFormz.com

Please contact me via email, Thank you.

Interaction of Color
Josef Albers
Published by Yale 1963
Limited edition of 2000 copies

Mette L said...

Who is willing to sell an original copy of Interaction of colour to Bergen Academy of Art and Design?
Norway.
We are building a colour lab and want to include this volume.

M L

KHiB
web www.khib.no

Rick said...

Only serious inquiries please.

I am possibly willing to sell my complete, original and flawless 1963 edition of Josef Albers Interaction of Color.
The Plates are a complete set of 80 Serigraphs/Lithographs and ALL are in perfect untouched condition. In fact I have never taken them out to study, only to verify their condition and wholeness. This is a remarkably well preserved edition. It has been a family Heirloom passed down from my father who worked at IBM in Poughkeepsie, New York and I hate to part with it but I am in the midst of starting my own Architectural Firm "ArcFormz Site + Building Design"

Please contact me Rick via email: ArcFormz@gmail.com, Thank you.

Interaction of Color
Josef Albers
Published by Yale 1963
Limited edition of 2000 copies

Paul Mazzucca said...

This is a re-posting:

I own a complete box set of the original Interaction of Color (1963) - all books and plates in excellent condition. (Probably viewed less than a dozen times) I replaced the original acid paper liners (which were still with each plate when I bought it from a public library) with archival glasscine to protect the screenprints. Note: Some of the plates are actually offset lithography as they are reproductions of course projects using collage materials and color models. I have used it for post secondary educational purposes on color theory - but find the lessons limited and redundant. Best kept and valued for the quality of the screen prints which are sooooo rich and elegant that the Albers structural imagery influence is evident.

I wish to sell only to a serious collector or advanced library collection.
email: pmazzucca714@gmail.com

Patti Slavtcheff said...

I would, as well, be interested in selling my set as outlined in my original query (first 2007 reply - paper.moon). I never located a copy of the catalog. The set has been stored for 8 years and I've never even looked at it. It seems such a shame. paper.moon.nh@gmail.com