Anni & Josef Albers - a trailblazing Modern Art couple

Exhibitions | A day in Paris
Un couple d’artistes pionniers de l’art moderne : Anni et Josef Albers

Un couple d’artistes pionniers de l’art moderne : Anni et Josef AlbersAlthough Josef Albers is already part of 20th century Art history, the exhibition at the Paris Musée d’Art Moderne is an opportunity to also see the great works his wife Anni produced and understand the genuine milestone in Modernism they created together.

They met in 1922 at the Bauhaus in Germany and were married 3 years later. Josef had already started attending the art school in 1920 during the post-war economic collapse. The difficult times inspired him to work with recuperated materials: he created works from eclectic collections of broken glass and a couple of years later was asked to run the school's glass workshop where he could develop his compositions on a larger scale. In the meantime, Anni, who had started attending in 1922, was accepted at a weaving workshop where she enjoyed complete creative freedom.
 

Un couple d’artistes pionniers de l’art moderne : Anni et Josef AlbersThey were perfectly in phase and their works echoed this as they shared the same conception of formal balance, despite using very different materials and techniques.

Colour sections on top of horizontal strips can generate a vertical dynamic as well as rhythm. As the Bauhaus encompasses all types of Art, Josef decided to start designing furniture with colour – such as his series of nesting tables, which have recently been reproduced – and a variety of daily-life objects.
 

Un couple d’artistes pionniers de l’art moderne : Anni et Josef AlbersUnfortunately funding for the Bauhaus was greatly reduced by the Nazi regime and it shut down in 1933; the couple however were offered jobs at Black Mountain College, an experimental multidisciplinary school in North Carolina where artists such as Merce Cunningham, John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg were studying at the time. The Albers therefore continued their career in America where they gained eternal fame. They were also attracted by Latin America and pre-Colombus traditions, they taught and wrote books until Josef became Head of the Department of Design at Yale in the 1950s. He devoted the rest of his life to his Homage to the Square, a sensitively abstract chromatic series, to illustrate colour interaction, while Anni turned to engraving and printing. The couple's love for the abstract and rigorous modernity definitely marked the history of 20th century Art forever!

Un couple d’artistes pionniers de l’art moderne : Anni et Josef AlbersYou will probably be looking forward to dinner by now and if you have already tried out the specialties in vogue at MAM and the Palais de Tokyo, you might be willing to walk a little further to Pleine Terre to experience the creations of a chef who loves working with "citrus fruit, spices and pepper". This winter's Market Menu includes grilled squid & foie gras marinated in old rum, scallops and crunchy duck confit, rice pudding with stewed fig, lemon grass and Renette apples. An inventive tasting menu using seasonal produce resulting finely tuned dishes served by kind, competent staff. A discrete, comfortable restaurant we are delighted to suggest!


Anni et Josef Albers
Until the 9th of January 2022
Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris



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