“Homage is a combination of color play, simple shapes, and texture. The design relies on the strength and stability of the square. Homage is powerful, yet uncomplicated. While the influences of both Josef Albers and Yoshiko Jinzenji are present, the quilt is very much me.” – Jacquie Gering
Designed and made by Jacquie Gering
They don’t know it, but Josef Albers and Yoshiko Jinzenji made my Homage quilt happen. Josef Albers ignited my passion to know more about color. Albers was a color expert, and I discovered him by accident. My friend Victoria Gertenbach made a beautiful quilt with different tints and shades of one color within a set of concentric squares. A blog reader pointed out the similarity to the work of Albers. I adored Victoria’s piece, so I set off to find out about Josef Albers. I saw a few of his pieces online and I had to know more, so I bought two of his books: Homage to the Square and Interaction of Color.
Using and understanding color is my passion, so I pored over his book and even did some of the exercises. It was magical! Albers taught that color constantly changes – color is seen in relation to the color that surrounds it. Albers showed how one color could appear as two. Some of his most famous paintings are nested squares in which he explored these chromatic interactions. Last spring, when I finally saw one of the paintings from his Homage to the Square series in person at the Milwaukee Museum of Modern Art, I really understood how the colors interacted. Even though I’m still not fearless with color, I’m learning and exploring. In this quilt I played with interactions of color. Can you find where one color appears as two?
I first saw several pieces of Yoshiko Jinzenji’s work just down the road from where I used to live, at the Spencer Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Kansas. In fact, I saw them before I ever made a quilt. I was smitten from the beginning with her exquisite work and stunning minimalism. When I stumbled on her book Quilting Line and Color: Techniques and Designs for Abstract Quilts, I devoured it. It was in this book and her other masterpiece, Quilt Artistry: Inspired Designs from the East, that I first understood that quilts don’t have to be especially complex to be amazing. Yoshiko is a master of minimalist design and graphic, abstract quilts. Her work taught me that simple shapes are strong, stable, and beautiful. She also does a lot of simple, linear quilting that adds texture but doesn’t compete with her piecing. I have found the same love for linear quilting, and I am using it almost exclusively to quilt my quilts. I had the honor of taking my first ever quilt class from Yoshiko at QuiltCon last spring. She didn’t disappoint! Seeing her quilts in person and talking with her about her work was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Homage is a combination of color play, simple shapes, and texture. The design relies on the strength and stability of the square. Homage is powerful, yet uncomplicated. While the influences of both Josef Albers and Yoshiko Jinzenji are present, the quilt is very much me.