Exhibition: Anni Albers
In celebration of one of the most influential textile artists of the twentieth century, the Tate Modern has put together an exhibition of Anni Albers’ most important works; many of which are being shown in the UK for the very first time.
Anni Albers (1899 – 1994) is a textile artist, weaver, writer and printmaker who was a leading pioneer in twentieth century modernism. After being discouraged from joining painting classes because she was a woman, Albers was introduced to hand-weaving at the Bauhaus – a radical art school in Germany. Here she began to explore the possibilities of weaving as a modernist medium and used textiles as a mean of expression, before going on to teach at the school in 1929.
The exhibition explores her creative process and how she brought together ideas from architecture and design, as well as the influence she had on artists worldwide, especially Gunta Stölzl, who went on to reweave a number of lost pieces by Albers. We are presented with 350 pieces of her work, including everything from small-scale pictorial weavings to large wall-hangings.
Exhibition highlights include Six Prayers (1966-7), the memorial dedicated to the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust, as well as Wallhanging (1924) and Black White Yellow (1926) – two of her largest weavings created during her time at Bauhaus. Another focal point is Albers’s publication On Weaving (1965) – a visual atlas that delves into the last 4,000 years of weaving around the world and its implications for modern design.
There’s no doubt that Albers has been influential to young generations of artists worldwide, however her contribution to modernist art history has been mostly overlooked until now. This exhibition is a long overdue recognition of her significance and is part of a wider commitment from the Tate Modern to show work by artists working in textiles.