From Paintings to Marionettes - the Entire Career of Sophie Taeuber-Arp on Display

From Paintings to Marionettes - the Entire Career of Sophie Taeuber-Arp on Display
#Exhibitions

For the first time in the United Kingdom, the career of Taeuber-Arp - painter, writer, architect, teacher, fa-bric designer, but also marionettes and interior design - comes to life with all its multiple shades in the halls of the Tate Modern. Over 200 objects will be on hand from European and American collections, retracing the career of the Swiss artist who contributed to the development of abstract art. Her studies of applied art in Munich, her subsequent arrival in Zurich - international centre of the avant-garde during the First World War - her meeting with artist and poet Jean (Hans) Arp, her life-long companion, the vivid works on paper and embroidery make up an itinerary where art and life come together. The exhibition also offers works of decorative art, beaded bags, pillowcases, tapestries and jewellery, as well as rugs that show how the artist worked with numerous mediums. From her work within Zurich’s DaDa community, the artistic movement that sought to integrate art and life, embracing the abstract and the absurdist, are the Dada Heads in polished wood, one of the most iconic works of art of the era. Her experiments in the field of interior design undertaken in the 1920s for private residences and public buildings are manifest in both furniture and design, such as the commission from Aubette, a modernist en-tertainment complex in Strasburg, created in collaboration with Arp and Theo Van Doesburg. But also in her home-studio in Paris, destined to become a point of reference for internationally renowned intellectuals, from Max Ernst to James Joyce. On display, the artist freed from the canvas, experimenting with primary colours and abstract forms, developing rectangular and circular compositions. When, at the outbreak of the Second World War, she escaped from Paris, Taeuber-Arp turned to drawing as one of the few expressive means available to an artist with a homeland. The final hall of the exhibition at the Tate shows the works she created in exile, before her tragic accidental death in 1943 at the age of 53. These works incarnated her interest for the abstract, the constant development of new ideas and the ability to embrace new materials and methods in such a way that still influences the artists of today.
Samantha De Martin - © 2021 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London