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Anni and Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, 1938. Photograph by Theodore Dreier

Due to Covid-19 many museums are closed; please check the websites of these institutions for information on closings and resources.

Anni Albers
Tapestry, 1948
handwoven linen and cotton
16 1/2 x 18 3/4 in. (41.9 x 47.6 cm)
Museum of Modern Art, New York

2019 New York

Taking a Thread for a Walk considers ancient textile traditions, early-20th-century design reform movements, and industrial materials and production methods. In 1965 Anni Albers wrote, "Just as it is possible to go from any place to any other, so also, starting from a defined and specialized field, can one arrive at a realization of ever-extending relationships . . . traced back to the event of a thread."

Such events quietly brought about some of modern art's most intimate and communal breakthroughs, challenging the widespread marginalization of weaving as "women's work." In Albers's lifetime, textiles became newly visible as a creative discipline—one closely interwoven with the practices of architecture, industrial design, drawing, and sculpture. A key driver for the development of new languages for woven forms was the emergence of interdisciplinary educational institutions such as the Bauhaus school of art and design, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Black Mountain College. These schools championed experiential learning—or learning through doing—an approach that had been in part inspired by progressive early-childhood teaching models of the nineteenth century.

Featuring adventurous combinations of natural and synthetic fibers and spatially dynamic pieces that mark the emergence of more a sculptural approach to textile art beginning in the 1960s, this show highlights the fluid expressivity of the medium.

Anni Albers
Line Involvement II, 1964
14 3/4 × 19 3/4 in. (37.4 × 50.5 cm)

2021 New York

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 foregrounds how visual artists have explored the materials, methods, and strategies of craft over the past seven decades. Some expand techniques with long histories, such as weaving, sewing, or pottery, while others experiment with textiles, thread, clay, beads, and glass, among other mediums.

While artists' reasons for taking up craft range widely, many aim to subvert prevalent standards of so-called "fine art," often in direct response to the politics of their time. In challenging accepted ideas of taste—whether by embracing the decorative or turning away from traditional painting and sculpture in favor of functional items like bowls or blankets—these artists reclaim visual languages that have typically been coded as feminine, domestic, or vernacular. By highlighting marginalized modes of artistic production, these artists challenge the power structures that determine artistic value.

Drawn primarily from the museum's collection, the exhibition includes over eighty works by more than sixty artists, including Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Eva Hesse, Mike Kelley, Liza Lou, Ree Morton, Howardena Pindell, Robert Rauschenberg, Elaine Reichek, and Lenore Tawney.

Anni Albers
DO V, 1973
sheet: 25 5/8 x 25 5/8 in. (65.1 x 65.1 cm)

2020 Berlin

31: Women references two groundbreaking presentations held at Peggy Guggenheim's New York gallery Art of This Century, the Exhibition by 31 Women, 1943, and The Women, 1945. The initiator and co-curator was Marcel Duchamp, who was Guggenheim's friend and advisor. These were the first exhibitions in the United States that focused, to this extent, exclusively on women artists. The women represented a young generation, from eleven different countries. In terms of content, representatives of Surrealism found themselves alongside abstract painters, Dada-influenced artists and previously unknown new trends.

Taking its lead from these important founding documents of feminist art history, the exhibition 31: Women, with some sixty works from the Daimler Art Collection, brings two longstanding emphases of the collection into sharper focus. The concentration on leading female figures in twentieth- and twenty-first-century art and the research and projects conducted since 2016 on Duchamp, curatorial practice, and the readymade. 31: Women begins, in historical terms, with works from the Bauhaus and concrete art traditions, moves on to European and American movements such as Zero and Minimalism, and then broadens the horizon with younger artists from India, South Africa, Nigeria, Chile, Israel, the United States, and other countries. The exhibition brings together early feminist trends and global perspectives of contemporary art in surprising constellations and thematic stagings.

Anni Albers
TR III, 1970
sheet: 16 1/2 x 18 1/2 in. (42 x 47 cm)
Installation view, The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and the Cosmic Tree, Camden Arts Centre, London (2020). Photo: Rob Harris

2020 London

The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and the Cosmic Tree brings together the work of over 50 artists, spanning more than 500 years, to investigate the ongoing significance of the plant kingdom to human life, consciousness, and spirituality. In doing so it highlights the subjectivity and being of plants, their influence on various knowledge-forms and wisdom-traditions, and how we engage with and activate them in culture, counter-culture, art, and music. Featuring the work of Anni and Josef Albers, Consuelo Chelo Gonzalez Amezcuelo Amexcua, Anna Atkins, Hilma af Klint, Henri Michaux, and textiles and ceramics from the Shipibo-Conibo people, among many others.

Josef and Anni Albers at Black Mountain College, 1949. Photo: Theodore Dreier

Due to Covid-19 many museums are closed; please check the websites of these institutions for information on closings and resources.

Josef Albers
Study for Homage to the Square, 1973
oil on masonite
16 x 16 in. (40.6 x 40.6 cm)

2020 London

Dynamic Visions explores the major trends in Op Art, Kinetic art, and Arte Programmata. Inspired by the legendary 1965 show The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Dynamic Visions includes artists such as Josef Albers, Victor Vasarely, Enrico Castellani, Piero Dorazio, Marina Apollonio, and Dadamaino, among many others.

Anni Albers, Mitla, Mexico, 1936–37
photograph by Josef Albers

2020 Mexico City

Passersby 04: Anni Albers explores the way in which the artist's trips to Mexico influenced her work in different fields, and considers the personal and professional relationships forged through this experience. The exhibition analyzes Albers's oeuvre and draws parallels between modern artistic practices and the ancient and contemporary cultures of America.

Anni Albers visited Mexico thirteen times with her partner, Josef Albers. Together they amassed a significant collection of pre-colonial ceramic miniatures from different cultures in what is now Mexico. At the same time, Anni acquired textile pieces for the Harriet Engelhardt Memorial Collection at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Her travels through different regions of Mexico, in search of archaeological sites, textiles and other local crafts, significantly influenced her work and thinking.

Through documents, objects, photographs, reproductions and works by Anni Albers, as well as contributions by other artists, this exhibition offers a contextualized reading of Anni Albers's passage through Mexico.

Josef Albers teaching at Yale, 1955–56
Photograph by John Cohen

2020 Vancouver

Uncommon Language delves into various modes of language used in modern and contemporary art. Touching on questions of abstraction, spirituality, subjectivity and embodiment, Uncommon Language features a wide range of artworks by local, Canadian and international artists from the Vancouver Art Gallery's collection. Artists include Josef Albers, Sonny Assu, Allyson Clay, Beau Dick, General Idea, Jenny Holzer, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Ann Kipling, Lui Shou Kwan, Attila Richard Lukacs, Ken Lum, Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt, Mia Westerlund Roosen, Françoise Sullivan, Cy Twombly, Rachel Whiteread, and Zhu Jinshi, among others.