TEXT AND TEXTILE: FOLLOWING THE THREAD
Albers’s presence on the vibrant American scene was a key factor in her emotional opening to new forms and new practices, and in the consolidation of a singular approach to weaving. By 1949, Albers’s reputation was definitively established by a large solo exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, followed by an extensive tour through museums of the United States. After the Alberses left Black Mountain College for the New Haven area in Connecticut, where they would live for the rest of their lives, Anni continued to combine artistic experimentation and occasional teaching work, while at the same time she produced some of the foundational writings of modern Fiber Art. This part of the exhibition presents a selection of her mature pictorial weavings, where new graphic motifs emerge to evoke ancient writing and suggest a purely rhythmical reading. These are hybrids of text and textile, of the canvas and the page, united on a support consisting entirely of warp and weft. Albers continued to develop this pattern until she stopped hand weaving in 1968.
At the same time, the artist started to rethink the role of preparatory drawings and gouaches for her fabrics, and her experiments with graphic techniques led her to produce, in 1964, her first important series of prints in the form of a portfolio titled Line Involvements. In printing work and its associated techniques, Albers found a new space for visual investigation that would eventually replace her textile work completely. On display together with this early graphic series is a selection of sketches, diagrams and photographs associated with the artist’s theoretical development, whose main expression was the book On Weaving, published in 1965.