Artist : Anni Albers

I decided this week to create a separate featured articraft artist page on this blog with links to the artists' sites. As I was compiling the list, I realized I had left out one of the biggest influences in my own work, master weaver Anni Albers.

Anni Albers with a student, Black Mountain College, ca. 1937
Photo Josef Breitenbach, Black Mountain College
©2003 The Josef Breitenbach Trust, New York
Anni Albers revolutionized the concept of textiles as art to be hung on the wall. And her eye, it was simply incredible. Her designs seem so simple on the surface, yet your eyes are drawn in and suddenly realize the amazing complexity of construction. So well thought out, so studied. This was her first piece when she found her voice in the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus.

Anni Albers, Wallhanging, 1924
Cotton and Silk. JAAF: 1994.12.1
168.275 x 100.33 cm (66.25 x 39.5 inches)
©2007 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
She would soon marry Josef Albers and begin a lifelong artistic relationship that propelled their work further ahead than either could have ever dreamed.

Anni Albers, Wall Hanging, 1925
Wool and silk.
235.9 x 96.04 cm (92.875 x 37.812 inches)
Die Neue Sammlung Staatliches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Munich
©2008 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

When the Bauhaus was closed in 1933, they moved to the United States to teach at the newly formed Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Both Josef and Anni inspired some of the greatest artists here in the US because of this move. I have often found that the contemporary artists I most admire today were taught by the Alberses or were taught by their students. They clearly made a huge impact in the art world here. The next book I read will likely be about Black Mountain College.

Anni Albers, With Verticals, 1946
Pictoral Weaving. JAAF: 2004.12.1
155 x 118 cm (61 x 46.5 inches)
©2007 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
In 1970, Anni Albers transitioned from weaving to printmaking. When you look at some of the work she produced, it seems like an effortless transition that probably freed her to experiment with new ideas. I love this piece. It's even for sale ... I so wish I could afford it.

Anni Albers, Orange Meander, 1970. Image 16 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches
Reference: Danilowitz 21 ("The Prints of Anni Albers")
To learn more about Anni Albers and her work, visit the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation. To see more of her prints, check out her book The prints of Anni Albers here.


Victoria said...

another great post, kathryn!

Kitty Kilian said...

Those Bauhaus women were quite something, huh! I am still looking for that babyquilt one of them made that inspired me so.. It is in my library somewhere, but where?

Anonymous said...

Stunning! A. Albers certainly had a gift.
The first weaving is my favorite.
I come from a family of weavers, Ortega, in
Chimayó, New Mexico. Grandpa's blankets were
of the traditional colors and designs.
I would like to learn more about the Bauhaus women...
FYI, i find your quilts quite awe inspiring!

Susan said...

I liked your writing about Anni Albers. She is my hero, too.
Marta Maas- Fjetterstrom is my other favorite for visual design and weaving

Lari Washburn said...

Beautiful post. I got the book you recommended on the Bauhaus and I'm enjoying it. Fascinating lives to read about. It helps so much to read about other artists! And by the way (re your question on my blog) my grandma and mom were born and raised in Maryland and considered themselves Southerners through and through. My mom often said of my father that she had married a "damn yankee". I could just feel the Southern roots in you!

Ruth M. Freeman said...

Great post, Kathryn. I am so fascinated with the fact that there were many talented "couples" of that era. The dynamics of their work and how they inspired each other was beautiful.

Katrina said...

gorgeous work. wow.

JAIME RUGH said...

truly truly a genius!

Kathryn said...

So good to know others appreciate Anni's work. @Lari, glad to hear you like the book, it's riviting isn't it? @cristina what a wonderful history you have in your family!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this great post! I have loved both Josef and Anni's work fora while now. They continue to be so relevant and inpspirational.

Sophie Truong said...

She was great! look up the book on her& Joseph in latin america too, it's very inspiring (maybe because i love to travel there too).. and yes, so many great artists went to black mountain - i think ruth asawa did too, no?

Judy Martin said...

Thank you v much for your intelligent posting about Anni Albers and Cy Twombly.

The verticals piece is one I am not familiar with - it is wonderful.


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