Anni Albers at Tate Modern

Anni Albers work and life are both extraordinary. She swiftly emigrated to the USA with her husband Josef after the Nazis closed down the Bauhaus in Berlin 1933, (the Nazis were opposed to contemporary art movements). They went to teach at Black mountain college in North Carolina. At the Bauhaus Albers had been restricted to working with textiles as a woman, but she took weaving to new modernist heights and painted with her pictorial textiles…

This exhibition was quiet, thoughtful and understated, rather as I imagine Anni Albers would have been. It was also extraordinary and compelling. Once in the USA, Albers became fascinated by indigenous Mexican and Peruvian weavings which informed many of her subsequent designs.

The six long tapestry weavings by her (below) were beautiful silver/gold and dark woven designs for a New York synagogue, called the six prayers, that she made in the 1950s, although, as she said, she was only Jewish in the Hitler sense (ie: by heritage).

Indigenous Mexican weavings…

Informing colourful modernist tapestries…