A leading artist of modernist abstraction movement, Albers was born in Berlin in 1899 of a Jewish family. After the rise of Nazism in the Germany which forced the famous Bauhaus school to close she fled to the USA with her husband Josef Albers where they founded the innovative Black Mountain College in North Carolina.
I first encountered Albers' work, through my engagement with tutor and mentor Janis Jefferies as a student at Maidstone College of Art. I have in my possession two seminal books from that period of time The Art Fabric ; Mainstream (1981) and Beyond Craft; The Art Fabric written by Mildred Constantine and Jack Lenor Larson and was thrilled to see such a large body of work in the flesh.
Detail of Black, White and Yellow, (and below) woven by Gunta Stölzl 1965 under the direction of Anni Albers. The original 1926 version was thought to have been lost in the Second World War
The final rooms of the exhibition held ethnographic samples as well as drawings prints and textiles samples. These are evidence of the research undertaken for her seminal book 'On Weaving published in 1965.
Design for Unexecuted wallhanging 1926
Room 6, The Pliable Plane explores the relationship between textiles and architecture
Painted effigy cloth, Cotton. Peru 1100-1300
As stepped out of the exhibition I could see that the patterns and images of the world outside are so clearly reflected in the weaving samples inside the exhibition. I urge you, if there is one exhibition you see this year, see this one.It is on until 27th January 2019.
On a related note, the subject of cloth and clothing, product and consumption, discussed in my current blogpost for Mr Xross Stitch, an Unfair Trade. There is also a feature review by Ailish Henderson of Textile Landscape