At Black Mountain College, the experimental school in North Carolina that had welcomed the Albers fleeing Nazism, Anni would tell her students: “We have to go where no one was before us.” A bold attitude that did not stop her from looking back over things to gauge the progress made in the arts and design. Only by knowing exactly where we stand can we dispel the confusion that prevents us from consciously experiencing the creative act and opening up new paths.
This collection of writings, with a foreword by Nicholas Fox Weber, gives us access to the enlightened thinking that she developed over 50 years – from her time at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau to the 1980s in the United States – drawing on her experience in the field as well as her theoretical and philosophical readings. Anni Albers returns to various themes she found particularly meaningful: the supremacy of timeless and anonymous design that is functional and not self-referential; the importance of struggling with the material; the idea that limitation from the outside stimulates inventiveness; the value of audacity; and the belief that the act of creation is the strongest emotion there is. Her writings on design and the art of weaving are still studied in universities throughout the world and her teaching continues to be an inexhaustible font of inspiration.