Anni Albers at the Tate Modern

Applied to the Bauhaus in 1922. At this time, stu­dents would do a 6 week Vorkurs, then ap­ply to the school. Didn’t get in but met Josef Albers, even­tu­ally ap­plied again and got in. In the first year (23), she was placed into the weav­ing pro­gramme (which started out as the women’s de­part­ment”) (because sex­ism).

Anni Later re­ferred to the act of weav­ing as The Event of the thread.

She of course went on to be­come one of the most im­por­tant tex­tile artists of the 20th cen­tury. Economy of tech­nique an ma­te­r­ial (following bauhaus ideas)

Master of craft (a weaver, wood­worker) and mas­ter of form (always a painter) Georg Muche mas­ter of form in weav­ing

[Study for a table cloth, 1930]

Weaving (with hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal weft and some­thing) lends it­self to straight lines, mod­ernist forms. ALbers con­tri­bu­tion was to el­e­vate weav­ing to the level if other arts - she did this to pic­toral weav­ing: The thing ex­ists as a fin­ished ob­ject (you’re not cut­ting it up a fab­ric)

Albers al­ways shows the hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal - she never re­ally does any­thing you as a view can’t fig­ure out.

[weaving di­a­gram] dif­fer­ent bi­nary pat­terns (over un­der) lead to dif­fer­ent 2d pat­terns

[1925 de­sign for a wall hang­ing]

muche at some point de­cided to buy jaquard looms (without telling any­one) AL­bers (and oth­ers) used this to go be­yond straight lines.

[wall hang­ing 1925] we see how al­bers still uses traight lines on co­trast

Gunta Stolz, slit tapestry red green 27-28 Bauhaus 100

Some words on Josef Albers

Born in Bottrop, joined the Bauhaus in 1922, quickly started teach­ing, ran the Vorkurs started do­ing stained glass stuff from found ob­jects

[fabrik, 1925]

Two lay­ers of glass, one tinted red, some of the red is sand­blasted away, then enam­mel on top

the bauhaus did­n’t have any of the tools for this, so most likely al­bers hada a lit­era fac­tory ex­e­cute this. Ww clearly see the par­al­lels be­tween his and an­nis weav­ing drafts (i.e he ripped her off).

Hannes Meyer be­comes di­rec­tor in 1928, Bernau trade union school

The au­di­to­rium of this needed wall hang­ings to dampen the sound. ALbers came up with a ma­te­r­ial that had cot­ton on the back to dampen the sound, sil­very cel­lo­phane on the front. Again econ­omy of ma­te­ri­als

The nazis shut down the bauhaus in 1933.

Albers’s in new york (1933)

Black moun­tain col­lege (38-55)

The Albers ba­si­cally formed the art de­part­ment, Joseph do­ing es­en­tially the Bauhaus Vorkurs Anni do­ing weav­ing.

Anni started teach­ing weav­ing with­out a loom, through tech­niques like these:

In on weav­ing” (1965) Anni talks about how every ma­te­r­ial has three propo­er­ties:

  1. Strucure (how it ws formed)
  2. Texture (what its su­per­fi­cial sur­face feels like)
  3. Facture (what’s done to it, twist­ing etc)

Our ma­te­ri­als come to us al­readt ground and chipped and crushed…

(on weav­ing)

The al­bers start to go to mex­ico, where anni learns to back­strap weave. Also starts to use found ma­te­ri­als

[la luz 1934]

Probably the mas­ter­piece:

with verticals, 1946 With Verticals (1946) Tate

Here she’s moved be­yond the hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal, this is so com­plex we can’t un­der­stand what goes on

Anni has the first solo show for a weaver at MoMA In 1950 Josef be­comes the chair of the de­sign de­part­ment at yale Anni does­n’t teach, but from 50-65 she makes the ma­jor­ity of her wood­worker

[open let­ter 1958] Exploring the smi­lar­ity be­tween tex­tile and text (see also lines)

epitath 1968 Tate

Enmeshed (1963)

Again tak­ing the event of thread into print She came back for a res­i­dence, did line in­volve­ment (1964)

Eventually screen prints: GR 1 (1970)

Drawings in the 1980s use her shaky hand


Joseph al­bers pa­per stud­ies (catier bres­son pho­to­graph)

wire ma­nip­u­la­tion study (1925 This ex­ploits the mem­ory of metal wire

Clay and wire screen come to­gether

All of this about show­ing what these ma­te­ri­als can and cant do When the al­bers came to black moun­tain, it was the mid­dle of the de­pres­sion, hence no ma­te­ri­als could be bought.

[Matiere by Ray Johnson 1948]

At the bauhaus, these ma­te­r­ial stud­ies are all pretty ar­chi­tec­tural - at bm, they be­come much more ab­stract and po­etic.