Albers Series (2019)

by Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine

This series is an imagined collaboration with Josef Albers, who was a pioneer of the Bauhaus, modern art education, and curved-crease folding. Our curved-crease sculpture is always inspired by Albers' foldings from the late 1920s, but we wanted to incorporate his later work on colored murals. Specifically, we adapted Albers' infamous 25' × 55' mural “Manhattan” (1963) that was in the lobby of the Met Life building (formerly the Pan Am building) until its controversial removal in 2000. Because the piece is currently in a landfill, we based our interpretation on the better-documented “Maquette for Pan Am Building Mural” (1963). We took the repeating middle part of the design, warped it around a circle, printed it onto paper, and folded along aligned concentric circular creases. The resulting pieces newly combine two aspects of Albers' work in a way that we hope he would find exciting.

Manhattan” (1963)
[photo by Daniella on Design]

New York Times article (2001) about the mural's removal

Maquette for Pan Am Building Mural” (1963)
[photo by Yale University Art Gallery]

Original Sheet of Paper

Here is the unfolded piece of paper:


[0631] “Pan Albers Maquette” (2019), Mi-Teintes watercolor paper, 6" × 9" × 7" high:

[0632] “Pan Albers” (2019), Mi-Teintes watercolor paper, 7" × 11" × 10" high:

Other Curved Crease Sculpture by Demaine & Demaine

Last updated June 10, 2019 by Erik Demaine.