The seam team were delighted to receive an invitation to the PV of the Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern on 9 October.
Six members (+1!) made their way to London, starting out even before the crack of dawn! But it was well worth it – what a fantastic exhibition.
Curators Ann Coxon and Briony Fer gave us an excellent introduction to the exhibition describing the impact Anni Albers had on the world of Abstract Modernism. This was followed by an engaging talk by Nicholas Fox Weber, a good friend of Anni and Josef Albers. He gave us an insight into Anni’s lifestyle and her quiet but tenacious personality. He described how Anni hated restrictions being placed on her – one of her tutors told her she wasn’t allowed to use black in her designs – resulting in many of her artworks featuring black!
It was a delight to see such a wide variety of Anni’s work, her inspiration and working methods, alongside work by her contemporaries. She particularly admired and was inspired by the weaving masters in Peru, learning ancient techniques from them which she incorporated into her work, interpreting them in a new modernist way.
Anni was also inspired by the line of the thread itself, researching and drawing knots and bringing these into her artwork. I like the way they add textural layers and depth to the work.
The exhibition showed Anni’s process of design development sometimes working on graph paper but mostly working samples on the loom. She had a huge catalogue of samples which she worked from, all carefully labelled and catalogued by herself.
I particularly enjoyed her subtle use of colour, with a limited palette, giving order to the designs without the use of repeat pattern as can be seen in this image below.
Exhibits were wide-ranging included room dividers, art panels known as pictorial weavings, commissioned work, woven and printed fabrics and samples.
I loved that she was so experimental in her work, for example using plastics and reflective materials and working on improving the acoustic performance of textiles.
It was a very inspiring day and I think we all returned with renewed energy and enthusiasm!
Many thanks to Tate Modern for the invitation. What a great day that was!