Weaving for the Future: Anni Albers

Albers, 1925

Albers, 1925
Speaking of color theory and Bauhaus, another artist who caught my eye at MoMA’s exhibition was Anni Albers (wife of Josef). Albers produced textiles that explore color values and composition as well as the technical properties of fabric. She began study at the Bauhaus in 1922. Being female, she was denied access to disciplines like glass (taught by her future husband) and architecture, so the artist turned to weaving. Her initial reluctance disappeared and she grew to love the medium. A focus on production rather than craft at the Bauhaus prompted Albers to develop many functionally unique textiles with qualities such as light reflection, sound absorption, durability, and minimized warping.

Albers is probably one of the most prominent textile artists. In her own day– before the more recent Feminist movement to reclaim the domestic arts as Art– she received recognition for her work. She updated traditional textiles with modern technologies and process of consumption, and she united the craft and art worlds in her designs. These two accomplishments are tenets of the Bauhaus school, optimistic mandates intended to create a better modern world that remain relevant in design today. I can’t help but think that Alber’s career presaged another still relevant Modern trend–that of the successful female artist.

Albers, 1926

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