Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Anni Albers

As a textile designer and someone who is drawn to all things textile-related, I couldn't wait to go to the Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern recently. She was an artist who is said to have "combined the ancient craft of hand-weaving with the language of modern art".


Born in Berlin in 1899, Anni started her studies at the Bauhaus art school and, being a woman of the 1920s, was discouraged from joining the painting classes and steered towards the weaving workshop.


She used the workshop, however to begin her creations in textiles which became her key form of expression and led to what she called her "pictorial" weavings, much of which was inspired by the work of Paul Klee. Her art is very abstract and that's what I loved about it.


With most of her works you have to look up close to appreciate the gorgeous nubs and textures. But standing further away creates a whole different feel.


The enormous exhibiton has over 350 objects from small-scale pictorial weavings to large wall-hangings and mass produced textiles.


The exhibition also had painted versions of Anni's creations and the workings out of each piece. I loved the vibrant colours of the two works above.

Albers made many of her pictorial weavings on a handloom that was exhibited in the exhibition. Alongside that was a film showing the loom in action. It demonstrated the painstaking time it takes to thread up the loom, but also the rhythmic action that weaving uses. It was extremely therapeutic to watch!


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