Trained at the Bauhaus in Germany, Albers was appointed acting director of the weaving workshop following her graduation and went on to become one of the leading textile artists of the twentieth century during her nearly seventy–five–year career. In 1933 the Bauhaus closed under pressure from the Nazis, and Albers fled to the United States with her husband, the artist Josef Albers, to join the faculty at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. At the college, Albers carried on aspects of the Bauhaus’s interdisciplinary approach, attracting guest artists, including Cage, to teach.
Albers created Tapestry at Black Mountain. It comprises a handwoven checkerboard pattern that subtly transitions from dark to light, reflecting a strong figure–ground relationship inspired by both ancient art of the Americas and modernist abstraction. Throughout her life, Albers introduced unconventional materials—raffia, corn, grass, and even cellophane— into her compositions, helping to advance weaving as an artistic form.
Gallery label from There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33”, October 12, 2013–June 22, 2014.