Skip to content

When a $1 Million Painting Is a Bargain

Prices for works by Josef Albers are on the upswing, but will they stay that way?
Photographer: Dan Bradica

The markets for deceased artists can oscillate wildly. They depend on trends in art collecting, changing tastes, and the influence of foundations or galleries. But trends and taste are fickle, galleries can fail, and foundations are only as effective as whoever is managing them.

A savvy collector, then, might be wary about buying into a market that is described as ascendant. No one wants to buy at the top. But how, then, do you account for the vast, much-hyped trove work of Josef Albers, a modernist painter who died almost 40 years ago?