Sixteen new full-time faculty joined the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) for the 2023-24 academic year. Two of the faculty members are also new department chairs in the college. Gregg Barron, assistant teaching professor of music industry in…
‘Anni Albers: Work With Materials’ Exhibition at Syracuse University Art Museum Opening Aug. 25
A new exhibition that traces the remarkable career of the artist, designer, writer and teacher Anni Albers (1899-1994) will open at the Syracuse University Art Museum on Thursday, Aug. 25. The museum is located in the Shaffer Art Building.
“Anni Albers: Work with Materials” features over 100 drawings, prints, textile samples, commercial fabrics and rugs from the collection of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. With a focus primarily on the extraordinarily productive and varied second half of her long career, the exhibition illuminates her ability to move easily between her work as both an artist and as a designer of functional materials. One of Albers’ looms and an interactive “triangle table” will also be featured.
The exhibition runs through Dec. 11 and is curated by Fritz Horstman, education director at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. An illustrated publication will accompany the exhibition and will be available at the museum as well as online at the museum website.
Upcoming events surrounding the exhibition include a Special Events Lunchtime Lecture, “New Exhibitions with Museum Curator Melissa Yuen,” on Sept. 7 from 12:15-1 p.m.; a “Work with Materials” Curator Talk with Fritz Horstman on Sept. 19 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. in 214 Slocum Hall, with a reception to follow at the art museum; Community Day at the Museum Celebrating Anni Albers, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and a lunchtime lecture on Anni Albers with curator of education Kate Holohan on Nov. 16 from 12:15–1 p.m. Check the museum’s website for more public programs that will be added in the coming weeks.
“Anni Albers: Work with Materials” will give the Syracuse University community a deep look into the drawings, prints, textiles and writing of this important artist and designer,” Horstman says. “Visitors of all ages will have access to her work from the German Bauhaus, Black Mountain College and the 44 years she lived in New Haven, Connecticut.”
Taking its title from her 1937 essay of the same name, the exhibition highlights the nimbleness with which Albers moved between mediums, and her fluid transitions between creating artwork and designing more functional and commercial objects. Foregrounding the transition from weaver to printmaker that Albers made in the 1960s, the exhibition begins with Connections, a series of nine silkscreen prints from 1983 in which Albers recreated images from every decade of her long career.
The exhibition proceeds in greater detail to show the visual and material connections that drove her evolving studio practice. In weaving, designing and printmaking, Albers’ faith in the power of abstraction and her reliance on material knowledge never wavered. Throughout her widely varied, yet consistent and focused output, we see an artist who understood material not only as a vehicle to carry ideas, but more importantly for its physical and structural potential. “If we want to get from materials the sense of directness, the adventure of being close to the stuff the world is made of, we have to go back to the material itself, to its original state, and from there on partake in its stages of change,” Albers said.
“We are delighted to partner with Fritz and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation to bring Anni Albers’ work to Syracuse University,” says Syracuse University Art Museum Curator Melissa Yuen. “Her longtime interest in exploring the material possibilities of textiles and printmaking showcases an innovative spirit that will find resonance with the campus community. We hope our rich community of scholars will be able to connect with each other through the interdisciplinary conversations fostered by the artworks on view.”