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Bauhaus Design:

Gunta Stlzl
(1897-1983)

GUNTA STLZL
BEST KNOWN FOR
German Textile Artist (Weaver)
The Bauhaus Schools only female master

Born
Died
Nationality
Known for

5 March 1897
Munich, Bavaria
22 April 1983 (Aged 86)
Zurich, Switzerland
Swiss
Weaving

Gunta Stlzl The Early Years


1897 Born in Munich, Bavaria (Germany) as Adelgunde Stlzl. Keeps diaries from 1911 onward with
entries about friendships, mountaineering and discussions of novels and philosophical readings. Her
father, teacher and school director, recognizes and furthers her talents.
1913-1916 Studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) in Munich: decorative
painting, glass painting, ceramics, and art history. Makes hundreds of sketches (landscapes,
architecture, portraits).
1917-1918 Serves in World War I as voluntary Red Cross nurse until the end of the war. Her only
brother is also at the front. While serving behind the Italian and French frontlines makes many sketches
and keeps personal diary.
1919 Resumes studies at the School of Arts and Crafts in Munich and participates in curriculum
reform of the school. First encounter with the Bauhaus manifesto.

Gunta Stlzl Bauhaus Years 1919 to 1925


1919
Begins studies at the Bauhaus in Weimar in autumn.
Her diary reflects the enthusiasm of this earliest phase of the Bauhaus, the social life and the easy
contact between students and teachers.
The diary is considered a rare document as it describes in detail Johannes Ittens approach to
teaching.

His (Ittens) first words were about rhythm. First, one has to train
ones hand, make the fingers flexible; we do finger exercises just as
pianists do. We begin to feel what makes rhythm come into being,
endless circular motions, starting with the tips of the fingers, the
movement flows into the wrist, the elbows, the shoulders, up to the
heart. One has to feel it in every stroke, every line; no more drawing
without feeling, no more half-comprehended rhythm. Drawing is not
replicating what we see, but instead letting flow through the entire body
that which we feel through external stimulus (as well as through purely
internal stimulus, of course). It then comes out again as something that
is definitely ones own, some artistic creation or, more simply, pulsating
life. When we draw a circle, the emotion of the circle has to vibrate
throughout the entire body.
Excerpt from Diary entry, 18 October, 1919
(After Stolzls second day at the Bauhaus School)

Gunta Stlzl Bauhaus Years 1919 to 1925


1920
In early summer a womens class is founded by the masters. This coincides with a crisis in Stlzls
personal life, the end of her engagement to the painter Werner Gilles.
She is asked by Walter Gropius to head the newly founded class and she gladly accepts.
Weaves her first small gobelin tapestry:"Khe in Landschaft" (Cows in Landscape) during the summer
recess.
Gobelin OR Gobelin Tapestry: A tapestry of a kind woven at the Gobelin works (factory) in Paris, France, noted for rich pictorial design.

Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins, Paris

Wall Hanging - "Cows in


Landscape"
Her first wall-hanging woven
during the summer vacation in
1920.
Gobelin technique, in part slit
formation
Warp: cotton. Weft: wool, fine
mohair
30 x 50 cm

Gunta Stlzl Bauhaus Years 1919 to 1925


1921
In May travels with two Swiss women, old friends from the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich through
Tuscany, Italy, and earns part of her keep by portraying families of Italian farmers.
Attends the first classes given by Paul Klee. Abstract works on paper show the influence of Paul Klee
and Wassily Kandinsky and anticipate the boldly colorful abstract wall hangings and blankets
produced from 1923 onwards. I
n fall, first weavings on flatweave loom. Works together with Marcel Breuer on their ceremonial
African Chair and on a second more practical wooden chair with colored woven straps.

Wassily Kandinsky
Paul Klee

Design for a Carpet


Water colour on cardboard
32x25 cm (1922-1923)

Breuer-Stlzl African Chair


A work from the early years of the
Bauhaus, presumed lost and recovered
in 2004
Created by Marcel Breuer & Gunta Stlzl
Made of painted wood with a colorful
textile weave, the design embodies the
spirit of the early Bauhaus like no other
object.
The seat and back of the chair employ
a woven textile.

Gunta Stlzl in a letter to H.M. Wingler, 07.01.1964:


"That was the first time we worked together. I produced the fabric. I threaded and
tautened the warp directly through the holes in the frame and wove the texture
onto the chair itself... the forms were freely invented and without repetitions..."

Breuer-Stlzl Bauhaus Chair:


Employed taut strips of woven upholstery which were to
characterize so much of Breuers later work and which he
developed together with Gunta Stlzl and her weaving
workshop.

Office of Gertrude Stein, American novelist, poet, playwright & art collector
(with works by Gunta Stlzl)

Gunta Stolzl Slit Tapestry Red/Green (1927/28)


Gobelin technique
Cotton, silk, linen
150x110 cm

Designs based on the tapestry


"Red/Green" from 1927. An
English firm produced a number
of fabrics - printed cotton, linen,
silk and even plastic for tote bags
- in the 1970s and 1980s.

Printed Bags

Printed Fabric

Printed Cotton Ties

Peter B. Gruber had 10 hand-knotted carpets


produced in Portugal by experienced local weavers.
They were 'translated' from original designs by Gunta
Stlzl of the Bauhaus Weimar and Dessau periods. A
total of 10 designs were chosen, with a limit of 50
made for of each design. Of the 10, 9 are
documented - as of August 2011, the 10th is
unknown. The rugs were marketed in Germany under
the Liz Boa label in the early 1990s.

http://www.guntastolzl.org/

Built by Stlzl's daughters, Yael Aloni and Monika Stadler, and her grandson, Ariel Aloni.

Looms at the Weimar Bauhaus School

Bauhaus Design:
Anni Albers
(1897-1983)

Second Movement II, 1978, Etching/Aquatint

ANNI ALBERS
BEST KNOWN FOR
German Textile Designer & Weaver
Writers and Printmaker
Inspired the use of fabrics as an art form,
both functionally & as wall hangings.

Born
Died
Nationality
Known for

12 June 1899
Berlin, Germany
9 May 1994 (Aged 86)
Orange, CT USA
American
Textiles, Graphic Design
Printmaker

MARRIED TO JOSEF ALBERS


Teacher, Writer, Painter & Color Theorist
A longing for excitement can be satisfied without external means, within oneself;
for creating is the most intense excitement one can come to know. Anni Albers

Anni Albers The Early Years


1899 Born in Berlin, Germany as Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann of Jewish descent. Mother was
from a publishing family; Father was a furniture makers. As a child, was intrigued by art and the visual
world and she painted during her youth.
1916-1919 Studied under impressionist artis, Martin Brandenburg. But was discouraged from
continuing after meeting artist Oskar Kokoschka who upon seeing a portrait of hers asked her sharply
Why do you paint?
1920 Attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg nontheless. Only attended for two months.
1922 Enrolled in studies at the Bauhaus in April. Began her first year of studies under Georg Muche
and then, Johannes Itten.

Anni Albers The Bauhaus Years


1920-21 Began her first year of studies under Georg Muche and then, Johannes Itten.

1921-22 Women were barred from certain disciplines taught at the school, especially architecture. During
her second year, unable to get into a glass workshop with future husband Josef Albers, Anni Albers deferred
reluctantly to weaving. Her Bauhaus instructor was Gunta Stlzl, however, Albers soon learned to love
weaving's tactile construction challenges.
1925 Married to Josef Albers, who was by then a Junior Master at the Bauhaus. School moved to Dessau
that year, and a new focus on production rather than craft prompted Albers to develop many functionally,
unique textiles combining properties of light reflection, sound absorption, durability, and minimized
wrinkling and warping tendencies.
1925-28 - During this period, Albers was a student of Paul Klee. In 1928 when Gropius left Dessau, Josef &
Anni Albers moved into the teaching quarters next to both the Klees & and Kandinskys. At this time, the
Albers began to travel extensively, first through Italy, Spain, Canary Islands.
1933 After permanent closure of the Bauhaus, the Albers were invited by Philip Johnson to teach at the
experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

Anni Albers Black Mountain College


1933-1949 Taught at Black Mountain College. During these years
Anni Albers's design work, including weavings, were shown
throughout the US. Albers wrote and published many articles on
design.
1949 - Anni Albers became first designer to have a one-person
exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She and
her husband move to Connecticut, and set up a home studio. She is
commissioned by Walter Gropius to design a variety of bedspreads
and other textiles for Harvard University.
1951 -53 - Albers's design exhibition at MoMA tours the US
establishing her as one of the most important designers of the day.
During these years, she also made many trips to Mexico, throughout
the Americas, and became an avid collector of pre-Columbian
artwork.
1950s Albers works on mass-producible fabric patterns, creating
the majority of her pictorial weavings, and publishing articles and a
collection of her writings, On Designing.

Anni Albers in her weaving studio at Black Mountain


College, 1937.

Anni Albers 1960 to 1994


1963 Albers begins to experiment with print media at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los
Angeles, California. After this experience, she spents most of her time on lithography and screen
printing.
1965 Published a book On Weaving. Her design work and writings on design helped establish Design
History as a serious area of academic study.
1976 Anni Albers had two major exhibitions in Germany (1976). Her husband dies the same year.
1976 to 1994 Additional exhibitions of her design work take place over the next two decades. She
received a half-dozen honorary doctorates and lifetime achievement awards during this time as well.
1971 Josef and Anni Albers Fondation is created.
1980 Anni Albers receives the American Gold Medal for "uncompromising excellence
1994 Anni Albers was inducted into the Connecticut Womens Hall of Fame.

Anni Albers, Red Meander, 1969. Serigraph, 20 x 16 9/16

Anni Albers, Abstract Artwork, 1926

Anni Albers, Ancient Writing, 1936, textile in


rayon, linen, cotton and jute, 149.8 x 111 cm,
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Washington D.C.

Frame and knotting exercise. Preweaving structure from Anni Albers's


class, 1960.

Anni Albers transformed textiles as an art form. Anni


elevated the status of woven threads and put the
medium on equal footing with oil on canvas and
watercolor on paper.
And so Buckminster Fuller declared, Anni Albers, more
than any other weaver, has succeeded in exciting mass
realization of the complex structure of fabrics. She has
brought the artists intuitive sculpturing faculties and the
agelong weavers arts into historical successful
marriage.
Josef & Anni Albers at Black Mountain College, 1949

Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer and inventor. Fuller published
more than 30 books, coining or popularizing terms such as "Spaceship Earth", ephemeralization, and synergetic.

www.albersfoundation.org

Built by Stlzl's daughters, Yael Aloni and Monika Stadler, and her grandson, Ariel Aloni.