A new exhibition explores the textile art of Anni Albers – SURFACE

0
Art

The David Zwirner Gallery and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation set up the first American solo showcase of the prolific artist in 19 years.

The David Zwirner Gallery and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation set up the first American solo showcase of the prolific artist in 19 years.

September 04, 2019

Anni Albers has created a legacy just like her tapestries – unpretentious, rich in thought and firmly anchored in the annals of art history. His process was respectful of ancient techniques handed down by generations of weavers from disparate cultures, but his methodical approach to the loom – his preferred tool for creating his larger-than-life works – promoted the modern ideals established by the Bauhaus school. This point of view will be fully exhibited from September 2019 at David Zwirner in New York, where the gallery will mount an eponymous exhibition of Albers’ works, the first in the United States for 19 years.

“To be very clear, this is not a retrospective – a description that involves a full investigation,” says Brenda Danilowitz, chief curator of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. “Why has his work been so rarely seen in the United States is a question for museums and other custodians of the art world.”

Indeed, Albers, while highly regarded in the industry, did not receive the same recognition that, say, her husband, painter Josef Albers, did. Admittedly, there have been several recent solo exhibitions in international art institutions at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2017, and at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and Tate Modern in 2018, but “Anni Albers” at David Zwirner is not as the second in the United States since a 2000 retrospective at the Jewish Museum. It is also timely, just after the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school and at a time when more and more institutions are highlighting the collections of women artists.

“Patzcuaro” (1940) by Josef Albers. Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

Born in Berlin, Germany, in 1899, Albers (née Annelise Elsa Frieda Fleischmann) grew up as a furniture maker for a father who introduced her to textile production at a young age. She would later attend the Bauhaus in 1922 and, by chance, after weaving was one of the few courses offered to women, adopted the medium which later became her obsession. Three years later, she married her husband, and the two became practicing artists and educators, extolling the design philosophies established by Walter Gropius.

With his loom, Albers created tapestries characterized by their striking geometric patterns. She immersed herself in the traditions of weavers from China, Egypt, Peru and elsewhere, finding commonalities that bound them all together. For her, it boiled down to creating works with applied thought that simplified the wild, sinuous, and often jarring forms found in nature. And it is this ability to create with intention, to configure materials into something new, be it something completely visual like a mural or functional like a carpet, that sets civilizations across the board. ‘story.

“Utility does not prevent a thing, anything, from being art,” wrote Albers in his 1965 book. About weaving, which was reissued in 2017. “So we have to conclude that it is the reflection, the care and the sensitivity to form that make a house turn into art, and it is this degree of reflection , care and sensitivity that we should try to achieve. Culture, to be sure, is measured by art, which sets the standard of quality towards which production at large is slowly moving or should be moving. Because we realize that there are no exclusive materials reserved for art, although we are often told the opposite.



8

“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York


“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York

“In orbit” (1957) by Anni Albers

Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York

“Scroll” (1962) by Anni Albers

Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York

“Red Striped Study” (1969) by Anni Albers

Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York

“TR III” (1970) by Anni Albers

Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York

“Wall hanging” (1924) by Anni Albers

Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York

“With verticals” (1946) by Anni Albers

Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York

“Study of color in green squares” (1970) by Anni Albers

Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

“Anni Albers” at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York

“Camino Real” (1968) by Anni Albers

Photo courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner.

Over time, these Bauhaus principles changed the number of utilitarian disciplines considered, giving them credit in scholarly circles. For practitioners like Albers, however, the quest for the unknown has always been far more interesting and challenging than the end product, which is why she continued to experiment until her 70s. “Albers is a model of the creative and independent artist who was the determined master of every aspect of his work, from design to craftsmanship, to understanding of materials – a bravery of execution and a willingness to experiment when of a journey to places where others have not ventured, ”says Danilowitz.

To underscore Albers’ sense of exploration, Danilowitz has curated a selection that spans different areas of his practice, explaining how his work “challenges chronological arrangement”, although the exhibition places particular emphasis on his production at from the 1950s, after moving to the United States in 1933. “The increasing complexity of his technique and his consummate ability to make towering visual statements in his chosen materials are well represented in a group of late woven works 1950s and early 1960s that exploit shiny gold metallic threads and additional wefts that purposefully meander against a background of black and neutral shades, ”adds Danilowitz. The exhibition will include With verticals (1946), In orbit (1957), Study in red stripes (1969), and the rediscovery Real path (1968), which will make its international debut outside of Mexico. There will also be a number of prints and drawings by Albers, as well as photographs taken by her husband.

The aim is to illustrate the portrait of an artist whose motivation was relentless and whose work sought to advance a state of mind that allowed no gap between form and function, weaving the two together like a tapestry. fully formed. “All of the above sends a powerful message to the art world – a formulation she avoided – that ‘you can go anywhere, from anywhere’; that what matters is not the end result but the truthful pursuit of an unknown, or little known but imaginary end that will take care of itself, ”explains Danilowitz. “Young artists at a time when fashion and trends are overvalued, draw their courage from his example. “


“Anni Albers” will be exhibited at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York from September 2019 to October 2019.

All Stories
Previous Next


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.