David Zwirner is pleased to announce a benefit exhibition in New York to support Thread, a Senegal-based non-profit established by The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. On view at the gallery's 19th Street space, this exhibition will celebrate the project's two-year anniversary and will include artworks generously donated by the artists, the proceeds of which will go directly to Thread. The exhibition will feature work by 26 gallery artists and estates, as well as photographs by artist Giovanni Hänninen depicting Thread and its surroundings. With this fundraiser, Thread will be able to establish an endowment so that it can operate in perpetuity in the region.
Opened in March 2015, Thread is an artists' residency and community center in Sinthian, a village in the southeastern region of Senegal with a population of nearly 1,000. The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation initiated the project in an isolated part of sub-Saharan Africa to allow painters, dancers, photographers, and other artists from all over the world, as well as from within Senegal, to pursue their own work while also interacting with the local community.
For more information about available works contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Press preview with Nicholas Fox Weber, Executive Director of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
Photos: © Giovanni Hänninen for The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
Encounter Thread’s unique environment and community in this short video by Zoya Films.
"You can go anywhere from anywhere."—Anni Albers. Read more about Thread on its second anniversary in The Art Newspaper
Bassari Dancers rest at Thread next to an original print by Anni Albers. Photo: © Iwan Baan.
The Albers Foundation initiated this project in a remote part of West Africa to perpetuate the Alberses' belief that creativity and the pleasures of seeing ably combat hardship and provide hope. Thread—like Black Mountain College, where Anni and Josef both taught—reflects these values which have long been held in Senegal.
Maimouna Kante, photo: Johanna Bramble; Anni Albers, Black Mountain College, 1937, photo: Helen M. Post
Designed pro-bono by New York-based Toshiko Mori Architect and built by local contractors using vernacular materials such as mud bricks and bamboo, the Thread building combines traditional techniques with innovative functional architecture. Described in The Guardian as "a work of art in itself," Thread received an American Institute of Architects Honor Award in 2017. Read more in Domus magazine.
Photos: © AKTC / Dev TV; © Iwan Baan
Thread offers a sustainable agricultural hub for Sinthian and nearby villages, providing training, fertile land, a water supply (collected from the roof of the building and conserved for the dry season) and a meeting place: stabilizing the economy and deterring migration. The Sinthian Women's Association has eradicated hunger during famine season for its community after just two years of Thread’s operation.
Photo: © Giovanni Hänninen for The Albers Foundation
The artistic program for Thread is inspired both by Anni Albers's belief in the value of "starting at zero" and Josef Albers's lifelong desire "to open eyes." Since opening in 2015, Thread has hosted over 30 artists from 18 different countries, including 13 from the African continent.
Photos: Paintings by Oumar Ball at Thread; Patrick Joel Tatcheda Yonkeu; Dana Louis with Ibrahima Ba (all 2016).
Thread posits that art, culture, and architecture should be mutually supportive of agriculture, education, and health. Cultural activities at Thread include art workshops, music and dance festivals, soccer tournaments, and village gatherings. Thread has helped launch an arts program in the local schools such that students now have weekly courses devoted to their unique cultural practices.
Sinthian women making designs for wood-fired ceramics. Photo: Dana Louis