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Anni Albers

May 28, 2000 - August 20, 2000

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Anni Albers
Untitled Wallhanging, 1924
Cotton and silk, 169.6 x 100.3 cm (66 13/16 x 39 1/2 in.)
The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut
© 2000 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo: Tim Nighswander

Founded in Weimar, Germany, by Walter Gropius in 1919, the Bauhaus was a school of art, design, and architecture that promoted a closer alliance between the fine and applied arts. Annelise Fleischmann became a student there in 1922 and quickly fell sway to the ideas first published in 1908 by the art historian Wilhelm Worringer that an art work could be a "visual resting place." She regarded straight lines and systematized abstract form as a means of providing the clarity and serenity she felt were absent in nature and lacking in other aspects of human life. She also made materials for everyday use that were more direct in appearance and purely functional than the ornate decorative objects of her youth.



Anni Albers
La Luz I, 1947
Cotton, hemp and metallic gimp, 47 x 82.5 cm (18 1/2 x 32 1/2 in.)
The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut
© 2000 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo: Tim Nighswander

In 1933 Anni Albers emigrated to the United States with her husband, Josef Albers, to teach at Black Mountain College, an experimental school in North Carolina. As if in direct reaction to their move to a less hierarchical, and in many ways more relaxed, culture, their art immediately lost some of its previous formality and acquired new texture and earthiness. Deeply influenced by the weavers of ancient Peru, she began to work increasingly with open-weaves and other unusual techniques for fabrics to be used as curtains, clothing, upholstery, wall coverings, and space dividers.



Anni Albers
Red and Blue Layers, 1954
Cotton, 61 x 36.8 cm (24 x 14 1/2 in.)
Collection The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
© 2000 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo: Tim Nighswander



Anni Albers
Six Prayers, 1965-66
Cotton, linen, bast, and silver threads
Six panels, 186 x 50 cm (73 1/16 x 19 11/16 in.) each
The Jewish Museum, New York. Gift of Albert A. List Family, JM 149-71.1-6
© 2000 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo: Tim Nighswander

In 1965 Anni Albers was commissioned by The Jewish Museum to make an art work honoring the six million Jewish victims of the Nazi concentration camps. Six Prayers creates the impression of a sea of humanity—an infinity of human lives. One feels the connections and connectedness, the force of life itself. The six panels seem to pulse with blood, to breathe, even to evoke sound. The tone is suitably somber and elegiac, befitting the tragedy that this interlacing of thread and movement of abstract forms so effectively commemorates.



Anni Albers
Study for Camino Real, ca. 1967
Gouache on blueprinted paper, 29.2 x 27.8 cm (11 1/2 x 10 15/16 in.)
The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut AA DR 021
© 2000 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Photo: Tim Nighswander

By the 1960s, Josef Albers was recognized worldwide as a color theorist, painter and teacher. In 1963, Anni accompanied him to the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, where he had a fellowship. She took up printmaking for the first time. Her goal from the start was to use printmaking techniques to achieve results available through no other means. At the same time, Albers maintained her lifelong interest in abstract compositions that were orderly but mysterious, balanced but asymmetrical.


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