Anni Albers at David Zwirner
David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Anni Albers at the gallery’s 537 West 20th Street location in New York. Organized by Brenda Danilowitz, Chief Curator at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, this will be Albers’s first solo exhibition in New York since her 2000 retrospective at The Jewish Museum. Spanning the artist’s decades-long career, the works on view combine a deep and intuitive understanding of materials and process with her inventive and visually engaging exploration of form and color as a language in their own right.
Following recent showings of her work in Europe at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2017 and the widely acclaimed 2018–2019 retrospective at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, and Tate Modern, London, and coinciding with the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, this exhibition will provide American audiences with a rare opportunity to experience the breadth of Albers’s body of work.
The exhibition will focus primarily on the works Albers made following her move to the United States in 1933, including her pioneering wall hangings, weavings, public commissions, and a range of her works on paper. On view will be one rarely seen cotton and silk wall hanging from prior to this period, made in 1924 during Albers’s time at the Bauhaus, that manifests an intricate relationship between warp and weft and reveals the beginning of her engagement with weaving as a “many-sided practice.” Subsequent works including With Verticals (1946)—one of Albers’s largest weavings—are even more complex in their composition, utilizing ordered but irregular patterning that is of a high degree of difficulty to achieve on a loom. Likewise, in Black-White-Gold I and Black-White-Gold II (both 1950)—reunited here for the first time since the 1950s—Albers uses a supplemental thread to mimic the look of embroidery and create an intricate pattern evocative of a kind of handwriting. On loan from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, In Orbit (1957) is a prime example of Albers’s pictorial weavings of the 1950s, integrating circular forms reminiscent of planets or satellites within an otherwise geometrically regular composition. This work underscores the slippage between abstraction and figuration within Albers’s practice—her work invokes the modernist grid while questioning its emphasis on formal reduction by presenting a composition that luminously shifts into three dimensions.