2 Anni Albers Exhibitions Explore the Intersection of Art and Design

Rug, 1959 by Anni Albers at the Tate Modern. Courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London.

In 1922, Anni Albers became a student at the Bauhaus. Because she was a woman, she was refused entry into the painting workshop. She turned instead to textiles and would devote much of her ensuing artistic career to hand-weaving.

Anni Albers Card Weaving at Black Mountain College Black Mountain College Photograph Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Western Regional Archives, Asheville, N.C.

As part of the Tate Modern’s growing commitment to textile art, the London institution is presenting a major retrospective called “Anni Albers.” The exhibition encompasses her abstract studies, tapestries, and more, featuring over 350 objects. The curatorial team, led by Ann Coxon and Briony Fer, aimed to explore the intersection of art and craft.

Study for an unexecuted wallhanging, 1926 by Anni Albers at the Tate Modern. Courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London. Photography by Tim Nighswander/Imaging4Art.
Necklace by Anni Albers at the Tate Modern. Courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London

Elsewhere in London, the Alan Cristea Gallery is exhibiting prints by Albers for “Connections: Prints 1963 – 1984.” The late artist devoted the end of her life to printmaking. Lithographs, screen prints, and etchings show a vibrant maker enthralled with color, form, and line. The gallery show highlights the influence of travel on Albers, including trips to Mexico with her husband Josef Albers.

Orange Meander by Anni Albers, at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London. Screen print. Courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Connecticut and Alan Cristea Gallery, London.

In 1985, Anni Albers reflected on the difference between mediums: “I find that, when the work is made with threads, it’s considered a craft, when it’s on paper, it’s considered art.” Shows such as the one at Tate Modern are challenging that notion.

Anni Albers” is at London’s Tate Modern until January 27th.

“Connections: Prints 1963 – 1984” is at London’s Alan Cristea Gallery until November 11th.

J.H.A I by Anni Albers, at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London. Screen print. Courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Connecticut and Alan Cristea Gallery, London.
Wall Hanging, 1926 by Anni Albers at the Tate Modern. Courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Connecticut/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London
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