Sophie Taeuber-Arp Tate Modern. Was she just playing at being an artist following her whims or as described by Tate Modern ‘Taeuber-Arp was one of the most successful and innovative artists of her time’. Humm.
The exhibition is worth a visit. An enjoyable dabble into the life and works of a little know (to most people) artist.
Born and resident in the prosperous and secure country of Switzerland (later moving to Germany and South of France) Taeuber-Arp ‘was a crafts professional, teacher, architect, interior designer, painter, sculptor, performer, jewellery-maker, and editor of an international art magazine.’ Wow. How many terms could we all give ourselves? Nothing spared here.
Looking through the exhibition, her work and approaches vary from formalised paintings, embroidery to marionettes to costumes to furniture and interior design and woodturning. All jolly good fun.
Described also as a Dadaist (living in Zurich during and after WW1 – the opportunity and capacity to be able to self-indulge), abstractist, geometrist, Taeuber-Arp seemed to have indulgently dabbled in whatever took her fancy and was vogue at the time.
I would have loved to have learned more about her financial situation. Was she always dependant of family money, her husband Jean Arp, inheritances? Could she have been economically self-sufficient? Was she a willing or unwilling participant in the male orientated and dominating art world? She certainly benefited by it if she is considered ‘one of the most successful and innovative artists of her time’.
A most interesting and rewarding exhibition to reflect of some major themes of artists and their situation and circumstances, if nothing else.
Born in 1889, in Switzerland, the daughter of a pharmacist, the family moved to Germany when she was two years old. Some years later she began attending art schools, and moved back to Switzerland during the First World War. At an exhibition in 1915, she met for the first time the German-French artist Hans/Jean Arp, whom she married shortly after. It was during these years that they became associated with the Dada movement, which emerged in 1916, and Taeuber-Arp’s most famous works – Dada Head (Tête Dada; 1920) – date from these years. They moved to France in 1926, where they stayed until the invasion of France during the Second World War, at the event of which they went back to Switzerland. In 1943, she died in an accident with a leaking gas stove.
Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett.
Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people who simply wish to dip a toe into the art world, share an insight, smile at a joke and maybe even be informed a little.
Al regularly visits the major galleries in the UK and whenever possible, mainland Europe and the USA. He keeps up to date by subscribing to many periodicals, viewing documentaries and the news in general.
Al paints and sculpts himself and frequently sketches in-situ. He has written a book ‘The Primacy of Your Eye’ designed to give people some insights to enhance their experiences in galleries. Fully illustrated with 400 sketches and drawings of major art works and their artists, the book takes the reader on a journey through topics to perhaps consider to enrich the viewing experience.
To many, the art world is daunting, to others it holds little interest. A gentle submersion at a depth to suit the individual can produce rich and rewarding results.
That’s the purpose of Art-Tales.