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 ** ]
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