Focussing on the work of the great twentieth-century weaver Anni Albers, but also considering a range of other important artists and designers, this major international conference aims to examine the afterlife of a Bauhaus weaving aesthetic as it was transformed across transnational networks of dialogue and dissemination, especially in Latin America.
This project is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
passport photo, ca. 1939
Red and Blue Layers, 1954
61.6 × 37.8 cm
Courtesy the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
SATURDAY, 26 JANUARY
Welcome and Introduction
Briony Fer, UCL: The textile imaginary
Session 1: A GLOBAL ATLAS
10:30 Grant Watson, co-curator of Textiles: Open Letter (2015) and co-curator of Bauhaus Imaginista research project (2018-19) will speak on the concept of a global Bauhaus, with special reference to Anni Albers’ weaving
10:50 Gabriela García de Cortázar, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, on Anni Albers in Chile and Peru in the early 1950s
11:10 Tanya Harrod, independent design historian, London, on researching the vernacular to find the modern: interwar British weavers and their travels
11:30 Ana Elena Mallet, independent art and design historian, Mexico City, on Anni Albers in Mexico
Session 2: STRUCTURE
12:10 Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Art Washington, who is currently researching woven structures, will speak on Legacy and Lineage
12:30 David Batchelor, artist, writer and author of Chromophobia, on the relationships between textiles and modernism
Session 3: TEXTILES AS THEORY
2:15 Tom McDonough, University of Binghampton, on the Knot in Anni Albers and Semper’s modern architectural theory
2:35 Caroline Arscott, Courtauld Institute, on William Morris and the role of weaving processes in the formation of modernism and ideas of a utopian future
2:55 Rye Holmboe, UCL, on Anna Freud’s weaving practice and the role of weaving in the metaphorical language of psychoanalysis
Session 4: CURATING ANNI ALBERS
3:45 Briony Fer in conversation with Helen Molesworth, curator of the seminal Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College (2016), on curating textiles
The co-curators of the Anni Albers retrospective at Tate Modern, Ann Coxon and Maria Müller-Schareck (K20 Düsseldorf), will contribute their responses in this session
Session 5: TEXTILES AND THE DIGITAL
4:45 Giulia Smith, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, on the relation between craft and technology in the work of Mary Martin
5:05 Cadence Kinsey, University of York, on weaving and the digital, tracing the links that have been made between the Jacquard loom and the first computer, through to the work of American artist Beryl Korot
South Cloisters, Wilkins Building, UCL
Sunday, 27 JANUARY
Session 6: THE HAPTIC PROCESS
10:30 Briony Fer, UCL, Anni Albers’ samples: the hand and the haptic
10:50 Karis Medina, Associate Curator - Albers Foundation, on Anni Albers’ working process
11:10 Mona Schieren, University of the Arts Bremen, on textility in the work of Anni Albers and Lenore Tawney
Session 7: FILM VIEWING
Artist Judith Raum on her film on Bauhaus weaver Otti Berger, followed by discussion
Session 8: MATERIALS - THE STUFF OF MODERN LIFE
Short papers by doctoral students and younger researchers working in the field, based on workshops that took place in Fall 2018/Jan 2019 in the Anni Albers exhibition
Marta Zboralska, 'As organic as nature itself': Władysław Strzemiński and Katarzyna Kobro’s Bauhaus
Meret Kaufmann, Pattern is a teacher
Freya Field-Donovan, Albers and Deren
Discussion and closing remarks
Please note that the timings are subject to change and will be updated before the event
Caroline Arscott is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Art History and Head of Research Degree Programmes at The Courtauld Institute of Art. She directed the 2013-17 AHRC project on telegraphy and Victorian culture 'Scrambled Messages’. She is co-editor with Clare Pettitt of Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy published in 2016. Her book, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones: Interlacings was published in 2008. She has published numerous articles on Victorian art including 'William Morris's Tapestry: Metamorphosis and Prophecy in The Woodpecker”, in Art History, M. C. Hunter and F. Lucchini (eds), Special Issue: The Clever Object, 36:1, June 2013.
David Batchelor is an artist and writer based in London. His work is principally concerned with colour, abstraction and urbanism, and has been exhibited internationally since the 1990s. He has published a number of books and essays on colour, including Chromophobia (2000) and The Luminous and the Grey (2014).
Lynne Cooke is Senior Curator for Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. From 2012–14, she was Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art. From 2008–12, she served as chief curator and deputy director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, and from 1991 to 2008, as Curator at Dia Art Foundation. In 1991, Cooke co-curated the Carnegie International, and has helmed numerous major shows since, including the 10th Biennale of Sydney (1996) and the traveling exhibition Rosemarie Trockel: Cosmos (2012). In 2018 she curated Outliers and American Vanguard Art, which explored the interface between mainstream and outlier artists in the United States in the twentieth century. Cooke has received many awards and is widely published.
Gabriela García de Cortázar
Gabriela García de Cortázar is an architect (Universidad de Chile, 2006), and holds a MA in Architectural History from the Bartlett, UCL (2010) and a PhD from the Architectural Association (2017). She has worked as an architect in Chile, has exhibited in London, Rome and Santiago and has lectured in Guadalajara, Santiago and London. Between 2012 and 2016 she taught Histories and Theories at the AA, London. From 2017 she teaches both a design studio and history and theory courses in the masters programme at the Universidad Católica, Santiago, and from 2018 she also teaches a first-year studio at Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago. Some of her publications include “Margarita”, in ARQ 95, Santiago, Chile, and “Palladian Feet”, in AA Files 73, London, UK. She recently guest-edited Revista Materia Arquitectura 16, on the topic of ‘Theory’ (2017).
Briony Fer is Professor of History of Art and co-curator of Anni Albers at Tate Modern. She graduated from Sussex University with BA Hons in History of Art (major) with French (minor) in 1979. She then went on to the Department of History of History and Theory of Art at Essex University where her doctoral research on the Russian and French avant-gardes was supervised by Professor Dawn Ades and Professor Michael Podro. She was awarded her PhD in 1988. In 1980 she joined the History of Art Department at the Open University as a Lecturer working on groundbreaking courses there and publishing essays in the Modernity and Modernism textbooks, published jointly by the Open University and Yale University Press in 1993. She joined University College in 1990 and was made a Reader in 1997 and Professor in 2005. She has published extensively on 20th century and contemporary art.
Tanya Harrod is the author of the The Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century (1999). With Glenn Adamson and Edward S. Cooke she is the co- founder of The Journal of Modern Craft. The Last Sane Man: Michael Cardew, modern pots, colonialism and the counterculture won the 2012 James Tait Black Prize for biography. Her latest books include The Real Thing: essays on making in the modern world (2015) and the reader Craft: documents of contemporary art, Whitechapel/MIT, (2018). She writes for The Burlington Magazine, Frieze, The Guardian, Crafts, The Literary Review, and The Times Literary Supplement. She is on the Advisory Panel of The Burlington Magazine and is a member of the Contemporary Art Society’s Acquisitions Committee. She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics, and is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the V&A
Rye Dag Holmboe is a Teaching Fellow in the History of Art Department at UCL, where he works on modern and contemporary art. He is also a trainee psychoanalyst at the British Psychoanalytic Association.
Dr Cadence Kinsey is Lecturer in Recent and Contemporary Art in the History of Art Department at the University of York. Prior to this she was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at UCL, where she completed a book project entitled Walled Gardens: Art After the Internet (forthcoming Oxford University Press).
Ana Elena Mallet
Ana Elena Mallet is a Mexico City-based independent curator specializing in Modern and Contemporary design in Mexico. She is also a full time professor and lecturer at Tec de Monterrey University working in several campuses in Mexico. Ana Elena was curatorial adviser for the exhibition: Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in September 2017. She also co-curated with Lowery Sims The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination and Possibility at The Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) in Los Angeles form September 2017 to January 2018. For both exhibitions, she also contributed essays to the accompanying catalogues. She was co-curator of Moderno: Design for the home. Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela: 1945-1970 at the America’s Society in New York (February-June, 2015). Previously, she has held positions as Curator at the Museo Soumaya (1996-1999) and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil (1999-2001), as Programming Deputy Director at the Museo Rufino Tamayo (2001-2002), and as Chief Curator at Museo del Objeto (2010-2011). She is author of the books Silla Mexicana (2017), Bauhaus and Modern Mexico. Design by Van Beuren (2014). In addition to many other consulting positions, she served on the Advisory Committee of the London Design Biennial in 2016 and 2018. At present she is a curatorial adviser for the show In a Cloud…In a Wall..In a Chair. Modernist Women in Mexico 1940-1970 to be held at the Art Institute in Chicago in September 2019.
Tom McDonough teaches and writes on aspects of the European avant-gardes, modern art and architecture, and twentieth-century French cultural and intellectual history. He is a member of Binghamton University’s Art History Department and sits on the steering committee of the University’s Material and Visual Worlds Trandisciplinary Area of Excellence. McDonough served as an editor of Grey Room (2005-2012) and publishes regularly in OSMOS (where he is contributing editor), Parkett, and Texte zur Kunst, among other venues. He has been a scholar in residence at the Académie de France à Rome / Villa Medici (2015) and a recipient of a curatorial research grant from FACE / Étant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art (2010).
Karis Medina is the associate curator at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation where she aides and facilitates research on the Alberses. Her primary focus is on the weavings of Anni Albers studying and codifying their structure. She recently assisted in managing the publication of the new edition of Anni Albers’s On Weaving. She graduated from Calvin College with a BA in the history of art and a BFA in sculpture. She has led workshops related to the Alberses and textiles at the Albers Foundation, Yale University, and Pratt Institute in New York and also has an active art and weaving practice. She has exhibited work in New York, Chicago, New Haven, Grand Rapids, Iowa City, Florida, and Croatia.
From 2014-2018 Helen Molesworth was the Chief Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, where she co-organized the first US retrospective of the Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino and the monographic survey Kerry James Marshall: Mastry. She also reinstalled the museum’s esteemed permanent collection and organized the large-scale group exhibition One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art. From 2010–2014 she was the Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston, where she assembled one-person exhibitions of artists Steve Locke, Catherine Opie, Josiah McElheny, and Amy Sillman, and the group exhibitions Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957, Dance/Draw, and This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s. As head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museum, she presented an exhibition of photographs by Moyra Davey and ACT UP NY: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis 1987–1993. From 2002–2007 she was the Chief Curator of Exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, where she organized the first US retrospectives of Louise Lawler and Luc Tuymans, as well as Part Object Part Sculpture, which examined the influence of Marcel Duchamp’s erotic objects. While Curator of Contemporary Art at The Baltimore Museum of Art from 2000–2002, she arranged Work Ethic, which traced the problem of artistic labor in post-1960s art. She is the author of numerous catalogue essays and her writing has appeared in publications such as Artforum, Art Journal, Documents, and October. The recipient of the 2011 Bard Center for Curatorial Studies Award for Curatorial Excellence, she is currently at work on a book of essays about art, love, and freedom.
Judith Raum (*1977) is a Berlin-based artist and author. She studied Fine Art, as well as Philosophy, Art History and Psychoanalysis in Frankfurt/Main and New York City. Her painting, objects and texts, combined into lecture performances and installations, explore the tension between social-historical research and artistic desire. After many years of artistic research into German economic colonialism in the Ottoman Empire as well as projects connected with notions of textility, she has concentrated on the textile workshop at the Bauhaus since the last two years. Her Bauhaus Space installation is currently part of the ifa touring exhibition The Event of a Thread. Lecture performances and painting dealing with the medium textile in social history and art history were recently presented at Kunsthaus Dresden, Gallery Norma Mangione, Turin and Careof, Milan, Italy; Piano Nobile, Geneva, Switzerland; Chert Gallery, Berlin, Germany; Halle für Kunst und Medien, Graz and Kunstpavillon Innsbruck, Austria as well as Ludlow 38, New York City, USA. Since 2007, Judith Raum has frequently taught at Art Academies across Europe, primarily at the University of Fine Arts Berlin, where she also received a fellowship from the Graduate School for the Arts and Sciences from 2001-2013. In 2015, she was Villa Romana Fellow in Florence, Italy.
Mona Schieren is co-director of the Institut Kunst- und Musikwissenschaften at University of the Arts Bremen, and a guest lecturer at ZHdK Zürich and IUAV Venice. She started researching on Lenore Tawney for her book: Transkulturelle Übersetzung im Werk von Agnes Martin. Zur Konstruktion asianistischer Ästhetiken in der amerikanischen Kunst nach 1945 (Transcultural Translation in the Oeuvre of Agnes Martin. The Construction of Asianist Aesthetics in American Art after 1945), Munich 2016. Other topics of her publications: Kunsttopographien globaler Migration, edited together with Burcu Dogramaci et al. In: kritische berichte, 43/3, Marburg 2015; "Every Moment Is a Moment of Learning – Lenore Tawney. New Bauhaus und Amerindische Impulse“, in: RE: BUNKER. Erinnerungskulturen – Analogien – Technoide Mentalitäten, edited together with Katrin von Maltzahn, Berlin 2019. She is a member of the research network Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Entangled Histories of Art and Migration: Forms, Visibilities, Agents (2018–21).
Giulia Smith is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, where she is undertaking research on women artists active in postwar Britain. Previously, Giulia was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Getty Research Institute (2016–17). In 2016, she received her PhD from the History of Art Department at University College London. Giulia was Editorial Assistant at Oxford Art Journal and has organised public programmes in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, the South London Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Tate and Arcadia Missa, London. She has contributed articles to Sculpture Journal, British Art Studies, Oxford Art Journal, Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform and Object. Giulia has served as an art critic for Art Monthly, Frieze, ModernMatter and This Is Tomorrow.
Grant Watson is a curator and researcher based in London. Watson is artistic director and curator, along with Marion von Osten of bauhaus imaginista a major international research project on Bauhaus global reception histories, which will be central to events marking the Centenary. Produced in collaboration with the Bauhaus Cooperation, the Goethe Institute and the House of World Cultures (HKW) this will include exhibitions and scholarly events internationally as well as a major exhibition in Berlin (2019). Recent projects include How We Behave with If I Can't Dance, Amsterdam, exploring questions of life practice and politics through filmed interviews conducted in cities including London, Sao Paulo, Mumbai and Los Angeles. Other recent curatorial projects include Practice International at Iniva, London, Iaspis, Sweden, Casco, Holland (2016); and Keywords at Tate Liverpool; and the research collaborations Practice International and Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures, which address questions of the transnational through art. Watson is a tutor on the Curating Contemporary Art programme at the Royal College of Art.
Conference panels and abstracts
26-27 January 2019
Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1
Gower street, UCL
EuSTOn / EUSTON SQUARE /
Professor Briony Fer
With Verticals, 1946
cotton and linen
154.9 x 118.1 cm
Courtesy the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation