Tate Modern has long set itself the mission of presenting lesser known artists and rediscovering unjustly neglected talents, perhaps because they are women or because they are outside the English.speaking sphere. The mission is always commendable and sometimes it hits the mark. As in the case of the retrospective dedicated to Sophie Taeuber.Arp, which is a great revelation.
The abstract works of the Swiss artist have such vitality and vivacity that they seem to dance in the large rooms of the Tate Modern. They are fresh, modern, contemporary, innovative, not scratched in any way by the century that has passed since their creation.
Sophie Taeuber, born in Davos in Switzerland in 1889, studied art and dance and joined the Dada movement at a very young age, joining up with exponents such as Tristan Tzara in exile in Zurich during the First World War. Eclectic artist and woman with a thousand interests and talents, she has experimented with different disciplines and materials.
Over 200 works on display
The distinction between fine and applied arts made no sense to her. Two works from 1917, which look identical, on closer inspection are a guoache painting and a small stitch embroidery. He has created furniture and stained glass windows, wooden sculptures and puppets, textiles and clothing, pottery and carpets, posters and pillows, wallpaper and lamps, beautiful embroidered bags and beautiful jewelry that are miniature sculptures. There are over 200 works on display in the complete, very rich Tate retrospective.
His aspiration as an artist was to create “living things”. Passionate about dance, she danced at Dada events in Zurich in 1917 and then transferred her interest in body movements into her works. When he decided to start painting, he created geometric paintings that are rhythmic dance on the canvas. The rigidity of the geometric shapes contrasts with the fluidity of the composition and the vibration of the colors. The result is canvases that miraculously have the gift of movement, with circles, squares and discs dancing before the eyes of the beholder.