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Skewed Geometries

Alberti envisions his canvases as objects that activate space and articulate a rapport with the viewer. Imposing and captivating, loud yet mute, the works compel their audience to enter into an embodied viewing experience.


Despite the unfathomable magnitude and the devastating toll of the global health crisis, which continues to undermine our ways of navigating the world, the strict limits resulting from the current pandemic have proven propitious for some. From the confines of his upstate New York studio, American artist Donald Alberti has been defying these rigid boundaries, at least metaphorically, confronting the physical constraints and reaching out to the largely inaccessible global audience he addresses in his recent series “To the People of the World.” A nod to Blinky Palermo’s final opus magnus, “To the People of New York City,” produced in 1976 shortly before the German artist’s untimely death, Alberti’s twenty-two trapezoidal-shaped canvases, painted in vivid, subdued, or neutral hues—cobalt blue, pyrrole red, cadmium yellow, bubblegum pink, emerald green, ochre, siena or ultramarine, white, black—form the eleven diptychs comprising his recent body of work.


Expanding Alberti’s horizons in New York City and further afield in Europe, exhibitions and acquaintances nourished and confirmed the artist’s pursuits. He counted Ted Stamm and Alan Uglow among his mentors at that time and found himself in the company of peers such as Olivier Mosset, Steven Parrino, Ward Jackson, Russell Maltz, Alan Kleiman and Marcia Hafif in multiple group shows.


Alberti’s bold forms, exhibited transatlantically in the 1980s and 1990s from New York City to Paris, Lyon, Naples, Berlin, Bielefeld, and beyond, offer the hasty viewer a semblance of rational hard-edge geometric abstraction, yet on closer inspection betray a less formulaic process. The progression leading from monochromatic dual-canvas works, such as Untitled (1986), and Carmine/Napthol (1988) to the two-color trapezoidal configurations Untitled (1991) and Blue Yellow (1991), which appear to overlap to form an off-kilter X, or the similarly askew triangles whose tips converge at center, Red on Yellow (2006) or White on Yellow (2009), with their contrasting stripes, to the most recent series, might suggest linear development or a predetermined program, yet actually bear witness to a more random, intuitive approach. In the end, Alberti has remained remarkably consistent in skewing logic and going against the grain to produce a vibrant alluring body of work that deliberately skirts logical solutions and eludes taking a stance.

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MAQ 2A, 2020, oil on canvas, 34” x 34”


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"To the People of the World," 6 of 11 paintings, studio, 2021.

Photo by Dallas Alberti.

"To the People of the World"

Alberti’s twenty-two trapezoidal-shaped canvases, painted in vivid, subdued, or neutral hues—cobalt blue, pyrrole red, cadmium yellow, bubblegum pink, emerald green, ochre, siena or ultramarine, white, black—form the eleven diptychs comprising his recent body of work.


Boogie Woogie Series

In the 2000s, similar concerns (engage with and ultimately upend the meticulous rigor of op art illusionism in favor of a phenomenology of painting haunted by the specter of its history) recur in other series like “Boogie Woogie,” an obvious homage to Mondrian’s iconic celebration of the dynamism of New York City.


MAQ Series (NEW)

This series is based on "maquettes" or "models" that the artist uses to work out ideas of composition, drawing and color. They often precede the making of larger studies. Alberti worked on this series of 15 MAQs simultaneously with work on the "To the People of the World" series.

Artist's Gallery


Crosby Boogie Woogie, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas, 96” x 90”


Cartesian Fallacies

The “Cartesian Fallacies” series, executed from 1977 to 1987 and exhibited at Gilbert Brownstone & Cie in Paris in 1988, offers yet another instance of reviewing and revising a previous body of work... By applying masking tape in concentric lines that roughly follow the perimeter of each canvas, then pouring white acrylic onto the exposed painted surface, the artist transformed the previously unfinished paintings.


Visual Logic Series

His series of visual logic paintings are conceived as structures which attempt to make visible the invisible "......'Visual Logic,' (and 'Boogie Woogie') both of which reformulate the figure and ground equation, which Alberti had deemed regressive, and fully embrace color theory." These studies were meant to explore the simple structure and color interaction in smaller works.



Prints (NEW)

A few summers ago in Florence, Italy, Alberti worked with a fine art printer to produce a portfolio of 4 Engravings (red, yellow, black, blue) as well as some lithographs. These engravings are based on a drawing that was still "holding" and strong after more than 10 years. Subsequently, he thought they would translate nicely in an edition using the color palette used by the suprematists and neo-plasticists.



Excerpts from the essay "Donald Alberti's Skewed Geometries" written by Susan L. Power, PhD, Art Historian, Independent Scholar and Curator.

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In studio, 2022. Photo by Dallas Alberti.

Over more than four decades, Donald Alberti has worked with the direct link of color and emotion, which he sees as one trajectory. “It is the field that connects us all. Pure color will elicit an emotional response. Color has a direct link to the emotions through perception.”


“The question is, ‘What do we see when we look at something? Or, when we look, are we seeing?’ The phenomena of color remains central to the material and temporal dimensions of contemporary visual experience. In painting, the presentation of color is sufficient. My work researches this experience by generating structures for the presentation and evocation of color.”

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