Sophie Taeuber-Arp: A Life through Art
An intimate look at the life and career of the Dada hero known for the unique joy of her work across mediums, authored by her great-niece and buttressed with archival material
Published by Skira.
By Silvia Boadella. Translated by Tess Lewis.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889–1943) was a pioneer of modern art. She was at the center of Zurich’s Dada movement and is considered the most important female Swiss artist of the early 20th century. She was a modern dancer, painter, sculptor, textile artist, designer; and interior architect. She made paper, textiles, wood, and glass shine – she bound light to matter in paintings, jewelry, embroidery, rugs, marionettes, furniture, and sculptures.
This unique portrait shows how Taeuber-Arp remained passionately devoted to her art despite the threat of two world wars. Through her work, she not only found and preserved her inner self and joy in extremely difficult circumstances, but also tapped enormous strength to endure the challenges in her life and remain true to herself.
The author, Silvia Boadella, is Taeuber-Arp’s great niece and grew up with Sophie’s art. Her approach is intimate and empathetic, as if she were looking at the world through Taeuber-Arp’s eyes, when drawing from family memories, stories, and documents as well as from unpublished sources. She has created a visually and verbally powerful narrative that for the first time connects stations in Taeuber-Arp's life with her works. Through the many well-chosen illustrations, including photographs from the family archives, she makes this story into a lively experience. Fundamental topics central to every human life, such as love, birth and death, are woven through the text to offer direct emotional access to Taeuber-Arp's works and allow the reader to engage with them creatively, and to experience first-hand how the artist lives on through her art.