Anni Albers studied at the influential Bauhaus school in Germany where she was taught by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, specialising in weaving after being discouraged from taking any other classes due to the fact that she was female.
In 1931, she became the head of the weaving department. Her striking modernist designs went on to revolutionise textile art and in 1949 she made history when the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a retrospective of her work, the first solo show dedicated to a textile artist to be held at the museum. The exhibition later toured the US for two years.
That same year, she and her husband, Josef Albers, moved to Black Mountain College after the Bauhaus closed under mounting pressure from the Nazi party. Together, they launched and led the experimental and highly influential art programme at the college. “Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of materials,” she said.
In the 1960s, Albers began exploring printmaking which, like her weaving, focused on pattern. Letter may have been influenced by her fascination with the pre-Columbian art and textiles of Peru, which had no written language.