In September I’m going to be starting a foundation diploma in Textiles, which I am very excited about. In preparation for the course we were given some homework to do over the summer. One of the tasks to complete was to visit a gallery or museum that exhibits Art or Design, so last week I visited the Sophie Taeuber-Arp exhibition at the Tate Modern.
I had never heard of Taeuber-Arp before and only came across this exhibition because I was specifically looking for one to attend. I’m so glad that I found out about her though as she sounds like my kind of lady! She was a crafts professional (a title which I think I may have to adopt!) and specialised in many different aspects of the arts, crafts and design including wood-turning, sculpture, jewellery making, and performance art as well as editing and producing work for several arts and crafts publications of the time. The majority of her work was produced across the time period spanning both the world wars during which she lived and worked in Switzerland (her home country), Germany, and France.
The majority of her early work was exploring abstraction within the grid structures of textiles and featured spaces created within horizontal and vertical lines. She then translated these images into textile pieces such as cushion covers, rugs and wall hangings, as well as beaded bags and jewellery.
It was really interesting to see the progression of Taeuber-Arp’s work throughout her lifetime as you progressed through the exhibition. Towards the end of her career (and life) her work began to include more free-flowing organic forms, although strong linear structures were still very much in evidence. It was clear to see how she had developed her style and artistic expression over the years.
I’m so pleased that I went to this exhibition and if you are in London in the next couple of months I would highly recommend it. Taeuber-Arp was a fascinating lady who knew her own mind and what she wanted to achieve.