Dada Bowl by Sophie Taeuber-Arp

Dada Bowl
Varnished/Lacquered Wood
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

With this almost-minimal object of turned wood Taeuber-Arp demonstrates the possibilities of infusing a functional every day thing with a radical aesthetic. Using the nascent Dada strategy she attacks the bourgeois sensibilities of the corrupt world to the decorative arts. The Dada Bowl straddles boundaries. It is abstract yet representational, made by hand yet uniform as if mass-produced, aesthetic yet utilitarian.

Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Dada, Constructivism, Performance Art, Readymade and The Found Object
Born: 19 January 1889, Davos, Switzerland
Nationality: Swiss
Died: 13 January 1943, Zurich, Switzerland

A prominent figure in many of the important European art scene of pre-World War II, Taeuber-Arp was one of the most active figures around the Café Voltaire in Zurich. She dedicated her career to the breakdown of static, artificial boundaries between genres and forms, and celebrating creative energy such liberation released. Her work attempted to destabilize the traditional norms in art and society, questioning the fixed ideas of gender, class, and nationality. For Taeuber-Arp art was both political and integrated into everyday life. She embraced the principles of Constructivism, and was its most important practitioner outside of Russia.

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