Anni Albers

Fox I, 1972
Silkscreen, 14 5/8 x 13
Gift of Katherine and Nicholas Fox Weber  79.23.1

Born in Berlin, Anni Fleischmann attended the famous Bauhaus school that united craft, fine art and design. Though she wanted to study painting she was assigned, along with other women, to the weaving workshop. There, she enjoyed the challenge – the limitations and possibilities – of woven fabric. While at the Bauhaus where she studied and worked from 1922 to 1933, Anni became intrigued by a theory of numerical repetition in nature that she found in obscure text by Goethe. The wall hangings on exhibit from this period display a geometry of rectangles and stripes, repeated in sequences. She used this geometric sequencing in textiles during that period and recalled them to use again when she moved to printmaking more than 3 decades afterward.

She married artist and Bauhaus painting teacher Josef Albers. When the Bauhaus closed under pressure from the Nazi regime, the couple left Germany. They moved to Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1933 and then, in 1950, to New Haven where Josef led the School of Fine Arts, Yale University.

In 1963 Josef Albers was invited to make a series of prints at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. The Workshop director encouraged Anni to make a lithograph. She did and she returned the next year to make a series of lithographs. Enamored of the process, Anni also explored etching and screenprinting. In 1970 Albers gave away her looms and switched to graphic art. Her lithographs and screenprints are typically spatially and textually complex and are informed by her textile work as seen in this abstract geometric composition.