This exhibition is a tribute to the wonderful work of Anni and Josef Albers, the German born artists considered to be pioneers of twentieth-century modernism. While each of their works was developed independently, it was the nature of their intimate and supportive relationship which allowed them to excel at their passions. Anni and Josef Albers met in 1922 at the Bauhaus School and were married three years later. Throughout their lives and artistic careers, they shared the common belief that art should be at the core, at the very centre of all human existence. Ultimately, they strongly believed that art could transform the world. According to Josef Albers, it is essential “to learn, to see and to feel life, cultivate imagination, because there are still marvels in the world… because life is a mystery and always will be.”
Both Anni and Josef explored their love and passion for art through many different styles of work and creation. In the autumn of 1920, Josef Albers enrolled in the Bauhaus School where he began to work with fragments of glass he had salvaged from the debris of Weimar. At this time, the German economy had entered an economic depression and inflation was out of control.
Josef’s work with glass was frowned upon by teachers at the Bauhaus and instead wanted him to focus his attention on mural painting or else he would face expulsion from the school. However, Albers persevered and was asked to open a Glass Workshop. Josef kept on branching out in the art realm. Other works of his include design and photography, his own series Homage to the Square, as well as Structural Constellations.
Annelise Fleischmann was admitted to the Bauhaus School in 1922. She became acquainted rather quickly with her peers, particularly Josef Albers. The two began a relationship and Annelise Fleischmann became Anni Albers. Anni, obligated by the school, began weaving to enrol in other specific workshops.
Years later while on a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, the Albers discovered the treasure of Monte Albán. This led Anni to embark on new ways of experimentation and thus she began to make jewels. Other works of Anni include pictorial weavings– small hand-made fabrics designed to be looked at, drawings and engravings, as well as religious commissions. These religious commissions include Six Prayers (one of her most ambitious weavings) and other works like Haiku and Code.
This is the first exhibition in Spain dedicated to both artists as a couple. The exhibition follows a chronological order and includes around 350 works– photographs, paintings, woven fabrics, drawings, and glass pieces, all of which mark the two artists’ sensational creations during their careers.
Report by José Roberto Nogales
Article copyright 24/7 Valencia
Exhibition: Anni and Josef Albers. Art and Life.
Address: Guillem de Castro, 118, 46003, Valencia.
Exhibition Opening & Closing Dates: February 24, 2022 – June 19, 2022.
For more information about the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM): https://www.ivam.es/en/exposiciones/anni-and-josef-albers-art-and-life/
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Friday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Closed on Mondays.