The Albers matrimony formed part of the Bauhaus school. Following the closure of the school in 1933 because of Nazi harassment, Josef Albers (Bottrop, Germany 1888 - New Haven, United States, 1976) was one of the first Bauhaus teachers to emigrate to the United States. Known for his writings on the theories of colour he continues teaching, inseparable from his artistic activity, in prestigious institutions such as the Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Meanwhile, Anni Albers (Berlin, 1899 - Connecticut, United States, 1994) is one of the leading textile artists of the twentieth century, after training in the textile workshop at the Bauhaus, where she enjoyed the tutelage of teachers such as Paul Klee. This exhibition explores a very specific aspect of the Albers production, with works that narrate their devotion to pre-Hispanic cultures in Latin America as well as the enormous influence that the fourteen trips to Mexico, Cuba, Peru and Chile between 1934 and 1967, had over the work and life of the couple.
Among Anni Albers’ works are included preparatory studies and tapestries produced during the middle years of her career, which show a textile influence from pre-Hispanic Peru and Mexico. In Peru, the artist finds one of the highest known textile cultures, where threads are among the first transmitters of meaning. After a life of designing fabrics and weaving by hand, Anni Albers begins experimenting with engraving in the Sixties as well as creating jewellery inspired by the treasure of Monte Albán (Oaxaca). In this exhibition some watercolours and gouaches, heavily influenced by her teacher Klee, are also present.
Between 1936 and 1946 Josef Albers’ paintings undergo a series of transformations. Breakups and changes of direction coincide with extended stays in Mexico. The influence of Mexican architecture can be seen in numerous drawings and paintings made in the late forties and early fifties, while he continues investigating colour. Josef Albers makes thousands of photographs in pre-Hispanic sites in Mexico and Peru with his 35mm camera, later producing photographic montages with them. These collages will serve as notebooks and three-dimensional structure models, volumes and schemes and represent a crucial step in the process of purification of Mexican architectural forms in succinct geometric motifs.
Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop, Germany (March 11 - June 3, 2007); Museo de Arte Moderno de Lima, Peru (June 28 - September 23, 2007); Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City (November 6, 2007 - April 27, 2008)