Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"Like the artists at the German Bauhaus, in an age of industrial mass production she wanted to return artisanship and craft to daily life, dissolving the traditional separation between fine and applied arts. There is no doubt that she was one of the most innovative artist of the twentieth century, developing a voice of her own in a wide range of techniques; over and over again one sees the powerful impetus that artisanship lent to her fine art works." Karin Schnick, excerpted fromSophie Taeuber-Arp: Movement and Balance.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art. Text by Anne Umland.
Upon first encountering Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s (1889–1943) diminutive Head (1920), one might wonder whether it is an abstract sculpture, a playful portrait or a functional object. Indicative of the artist’s pursuit to break down the conventional boundaries between the applied and fine arts, the work defies easy categorization. Its stylized features—a single eye, a long trapezoidal nose, delicately beaded “earrings”—hint at the artist’s interests in modernist abstraction and in the stuff of everyday life. A dancer, designer, puppet maker, sculptor and painter at the heart of the Zurich Dada movement, Taeuber-Arp made Head in the wake of World War I, during a time of profound political and cultural self-questioning. Almost a century later, her witty wooden figure has lost none of its punch as an investigation of art across aesthetic and material boundaries rather than within them. Curator Anne Umland’s essay positions this intriguingly anthropomorphic work within the broader arc of Taeuber-Arp’s remarkably vibrant and versatile career.
Published by Kerber. Text by Stephen Kurz, Francois Morellet, Astrid von Asten, Karin Schick.
The only woman to be represented on a Swiss banknote (the 50-franc note), Sophie Taeuber-Arp was one of the twentieth century's most innovative artists, in painting, sculpture, textiles, dance, architecture and puppetry. Often occupying this role of the only "woman"--in exhibitions, or when socializing among Dadaists and Concrete artists and elsewhere--Taeuber-Arp nevertheless went about her diverse activities as though gender obstacles were immaterial, and steadily built up a massive body of work whose consistent qualities are warmth, clarity and liveliness. Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Movement and Balance is the most complete survey of the artist's work available in any language to date. Packed with full-color illustrations of her work in all media, from her pre-Concrete abstractions to her fabrics, watercolors, canvases, reliefs and her wonderful marionettes, as well as a visual chronology with archival photographs of Taeuber-Arp posing in her costumes, or next to her works with her husband Hans (Jean) Arp, this volume demonstrates the exemplary adventurousness of her career.