Elementary Forms by Sophie Taeuber-Arp

Elementary Forms

Elementary Forms was made to hang on a wall, unlike most other textile at the time. By treating embroidery like a painting Taeuber-Arp attempted to erode the ideas of what materials could be used to create art. The weft changes how the viewer sees the embroidery, forcing the consideration of texture and the implication of the hand that made it. Taeuber-Arp’s radical notions of non-representational art apply the tenets of colour and form to traditional women’s work. She is unexpectedly empowered by the traditional gender roles in an avant-garde pursuit.

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 break down 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 f 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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