At first glance, "Horizontals Tiered" may appear as two empty canvases. But as she wrote in 1967, artist Jo Baer believed that “most sensation is the edge of things.” By painting thin belts of color between areas of white and black, Baer strove to induce an optical phenomenon: on the inner edge of the band, the color appears lighter; on the outer edge, it appears darker. In privileging the peripheries of the canvas, Baer questioned conventional ways of looking at art. Baer’s attention to the edges of her work aligns her not only with other Minimalist artists, but also with color theorists such as Josef Albers, whose book, "Interaction of Color," was published just three years before this work was made. Explaining her process, Baer said, “I was always curious why the color on the palette was different than the color on the painting. I knew what I wanted something to look like, and I found that the means to do it were so different than the end result.”