Thomas Lavin celebrates the launch of Christopher Farr CLOTH’s latest collection, inspired by textile artist Anni AlbersAuthor:Abigail Stone
To introduce Christopher Farr CLOTH’s latest collection, inspired by the work of textile artist, Anni Albers and presented in association with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Thomas Lavin threw an intimate cocktail party on October 20th at The Thomas Mann House in Pacific Palisades in L.A. The event included a focused conversation around the Bauhaus movement and Albers’s work and contributions to twentieth century Modernism.
Christopher Farr CLOTH, a partnership between Christopher Farr, Matthew Bourne and Michal Silver, was founded twenty years ago. Silver, who’d been designing textiles for Mulberry, brought her expertise in fashion and fabric to Christopher Farr RUGS. The innovative fabrics, wallcovering and passementeries that resulted reflect a passion for time-honored textile production processes and an intellectual yet playful approach to design and experimentation.
“Christopher Farr CLOTH has been a pioneer in collaborating with artists’ estates since our early days together,” says Thomas Lavin. “As one of the most important artists/weavers of the 20th century, it is extraordinary to be part of the collaboration between CLOTH and Anni Albers. Her original Bauhaus designs—in original colors—are as modern as they were over 100 years ago. I am inspired that her work lives on and moved that we are the stewards of her work.”
Farr had long been enamored of the work of the Albers, “We’re always looking for an original voice and one that connects to our design ethos,” says Silver of what drew her to Albers’ work. Anni Albers, one of the great textile artists of the 20th century, perfectly embodied the tenets of the Bauhaus movement; her work danced on the line between craft and art, mingling function and beauty.
“Whenever we work with archival collections it’s a very humbling experience, because we are there to bring take the work and introduce it to a new audience,” says Silver. “It seems easy but you’re looking for what is relevant and feasible while keeping the spirit of the original textiles.” To complicate the task, Albers life spanned almost the entirety of the 20th century. A few designs stood out including Hanging 1925 was created while she was still a student at the Bauhaus and Black Mountain, created almost ten years later, when she and her husband, the artist Josef Albers, were living in North Carolina and teaching at Black Mountain College. “So it’s very eclectic in a way, but very much Anni Albers,” Silver says.
To introduce the collection, Lavin needed a venue that would capture Albers’ spirit and her legacy. “There were a lot of German artists, specifically Jewish artists, who fled Germany at the beginning of World War II and came to California, specifically to Pacific Palisades, so there was a big group of Germany ex-patriots,” says Silver. Along with the Josef and Anni Albers, that community included writer Thomas Mann. Mann had tapped architect Julius Ralph Davidson, one of the California Modernists, to build his family a home on San Remo Drive; it became the nexus of German emigre life in Southern California. The house was purchased by the German government in 2016 for use as an education venue for artistic creation and intellectual exchange. “Having this event at this home—it is never open to the public, you can only be invited—it’s an incredible celebration of Anni Albers’ work,” says Silver. The full collection and be viewed here or in person at Thomas Lavin showroom.
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