Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction

Tanya Harrod at Literary Review:

This year, Tate is hosting four exhibitions devoted to women artists: Paula Rego, Lubaina Himid, Yayoi Kusama and Sophie Taeuber-Arp (a further show devoted to Magdalena Abakanowicz is in the pipeline). Opening on 15 July at Tate Modern, the exhibition ‘Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction’ comes with an excellent catalogue, which includes sixteen essays that survey her remarkable range. This Swiss artist, born in Davos in 1889, created textiles, beadwork bags and necklaces, cross-stitch embroidery, carnivalesque outfits for costume balls and a family of haunting marionettes, as well as designing furniture and interiors. She was also a Laban-trained dancer, a sculptor, an illustrator, co-editor of the important journal Plastique, a brilliant photographer and a significant abstract artist. And as if that were not enough, she gave continuous support to her husband, Jean Arp, and designed the modern vernacular house at Clamart in the southwestern suburbs of Paris where she and Arp lived from 1928 until being driven south by the German invasion in 1940. Her husband, whom she married in 1922, is regularly name-checked in surveys of 20th-century art, from Herbert Read’s A Concise History of Modern Painting to Norbert Lynton’s The Story of Modern Art. By contrast, Taeuber-Arp’s reputation was only properly recuperated in 2005 in Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois and Benjamin Buchloh’s generous Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism.

more here.