I am no bird, N°1

Anni Albers

Anni Albers (1899-1994) is the artist – and the woman – we’d like to start this new format with. 
A format dedicated to the great women in history, up to the present days. A simple diary to remember their incredible lives and their precious accomplishments, and at the same time, a tool to remind us how strong, powerful, and hearty women can be. 

Anni Albers is known today as one of the foremost Modernist thinkers and is renowned for both her art and her writings on the theory of art and design. Desiring to become a painter, she first enrolled in the Bauhaus in 1922 at age 23. She was attracted to the school because it had a reputation for being on the cutting edge in every way, including in its admittance of women as students. Yet the administration was not as forward-thinking as they would have liked to claim, as evidenced by the fact that, like all other female students, Albers was not allowed to enroll in painting or sculpture classes being a female. She was instead steered into weaving as an artistic medium. Undeterred by this blatant sexism and disregard for her other talents, Albers embraced her weaving classes, absorbing everything she could about the methods, materials, and histories of fiber art.

“In my case, it was threads that caught me, really against my will. To work with threads seemed sissy to me. I wanted something to be conquered. But circumstances held me to threads and they won me over.”
ANNI ALBERS, 1982

 

She subsequently went on to become one of the most recognized students, and teachers, in Bauhaus history, eclipsing the accomplishments of many of the same men who had attempted to diminish her potential by limiting her education.

Anni Albers managed to combine art and crafts, hand-weaving and machine-based production, ancient and modern traditions, exploring the relationship between textile and architecture and promoting, as she wrote, “a new understanding between the architect and the inventive weaver.”