David Zwirner Gallery appointed worldwide representative for the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
We are delighted to announce that David Zwirner Gallery has been selected as the worldwide representative for works of art that the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation chooses to sell by its founders, the textile artist and abstract painter and printmaker Anni Albers, and the color theorist, painter, and printmaker Josef Albers.
The Alberses met at the renowned Bauhaus School in Weimar, Germany, in 1922. They were married in Berlin in 1925, and emigrated to the United States in 1933, following the refusal of the Bauhaus faculty to work in collaboration with the Third Reich, to teach at the newly formed, progressive Black Mountain College. The Alberses had been married for fifty years when Josef died at age eighty-eight in 1976. Anni Albers died at age ninety-four in 1994. Anni was the first textile artist ever to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1949. Josef was the first living artist ever to have a solo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in 1971.
Zwirner replaces the dealer Leslie Waddington, who had this role on the Foundation's behalf until his death last November. Nicholas Fox Weber, the Foundation's Executive Director, was approached by many of the leading international galleries specializing in contemporary work who sought to sell the Alberses' work on behalf of the Foundation. Of these, he made a short list of the four galleries he considered the most qualified, and treated the search "in the manner of an architectural competition rather than the usual secretive, behind-closed-door approach more common in the art world and guaranteed to generate rumors." He wrote the four chief executives of the galleries on the short list an open letter, their names all given, posing the same questions and stating the same hopes and policies to the contenders in order to make the choice that would best serve the nonprofit Albers Foundation.
For purposes of the announcement of his final decision, Mr. Weber issued the following statement: "I considered my recent search for the ideal art gallery to represent the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation worldwide to be one of the most significant, possibly daunting, tasks of my forty years at the helm of this wonderful organization. But what I thought would be difficult has proved to be a source of enormous pleasure. In David Zwirner, David Leiber, and others on the team of this wonderful art gallery, I have found people with the integrity, energy, passion for art, and human values that were dear to Josef and Anni alike. The Alberses established, as the goal of our Foundation, "the revelation and evocation of vision through art." With our desire to perpetuate those intentions in places ranging from some of the poorest villages in rural Africa to the most sophisticated museums in great metropolises, we believe that David Zwirner, the man and the gallery, embodies out interests with aplomb, professionalism, wisdom, and kindness." In November 2016, David Zwirner will present an exhibition of Josef Albers's work in its 537 West 20th Street location in New York.
The Albers Foundation serves multiple purposes, working on exhibitions worldwide, sponsoring publications that help fulfill the Alberses' goals, maintaining artists' residencies both on its Connecticut campus and near the Gambia River in West Africa, overseeing new editions of furniture and objects and textiles based on the Alberses' designs, working on collaborative enterprises like ballets by the choreographer Wayne McGregor based on the Alberses' art, and assisting with medical, educational, and cultural aid through Le Korsa, an international nonprofit it created to improve the lives of people in rural Senegal and in some of the poorest regions of the Senegalese cities of Tambacounda and Dakar.