Anni Albers

From the East


In 1950, Josef Albers accepted the position of chair of the design department at Yale University and the Alberses moved to Connecticut. During the 1950s and 1960s, his wife Anni worked productively from a home studio, producing fabric patterns, creating "pictorial" weavings, and writing articles and books about weaving, including On Designing in 1952 and On Weaving in 1965. The artist said of her art: “in concentrating on what the weaving materials told you color was almost interfering with this because the roughness, the smoothness, the gloss, etc., comes out clearer if you are not concerned with additional color, but if you stick to just what this character of the material was. And therefore, I find that colors in weaving have not the first place, like with a proper painter, but only as a secondary one. And if you think of working for industrial production, as I have done to a small degree, a curtain that you build should be—I don't know—transparent, or opaque, folding easily, washable, and so on, and you can have it in blue or red or green in the end, which is further concern, but is not the one out of which to build the main character of the material. I find that a craft gives somebody who is trying to find his way a kind of discipline. And this discipline was driven in earlier periods through the technique that was necessary for a painter to learn. In the Renaissance they had to grind their paints, they had to prepare their canvas or wood panels. And they were very limited really in the handling of the material. While today you buy the paint in any paint store and squeeze it and the panels come readymade and there is nothing that teaches you the care that materials demand.”

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Artist Anni Albers
Date 1963
Medium Cotton and plastic
Dimensions 63.5 x 41.4 cm
Credit line Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. Gift, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in honor of Philip Rylands for his continued commitment to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Accession 99.5259
Collection Acquisitions
Type Mixed media

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