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Sophie Taeuber-Arp:
Living Abstraction

November 21, 2021 – March 12, 2022

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art announces Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction, the first major US exhibition in 40 years to survey this multifaceted abstract artist’s innovative and wide-ranging body of work. The exhibition will explore the artist’s interdisciplinary approach to abstraction through some 300 works assembled from over 50 public and private collections in Europe and the US, including textiles, beadwork, polychrome marionettes, architectural and interior designs, stained glass windows, works on paper, paintings, and relief sculptures. Prior to its presentation at MoMA, the exhibition will be shown at the Kunstmuseum Basel (March 19–June 20, 2021) in Taeuber-Arp’s native Switzerland, and at Tate Modern in London (July 13–October 17, 2021), where it will be the first-ever retrospective of the artist in the United Kingdom.

Organized by The Museum of Modern Art, Kunstmuseum Basel, and Tate Modern

Organized by Anne Umland, the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA; Walburga Krupp, independent curator; Eva Reifert, Curator of Nineteenth-Century and Modern Art, Kunstmuseum Basel; and Natalia Sidlina, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern; with Laura Braverman, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA.

Leadership support for the exhibition is provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation and Monique M. Schoen Warshaw.

Major funding is provided by The Modern Women’s Fund and Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne.

Generous support is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

MoMA Audio is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Press Kit

Images

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Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Vertical-Horizontal Composition. 1916. Colored pencil, gouache, and pencil on paper. 9 7/16 x 7 3/4” (23.9 x 19.6 cm). Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin. Photo Alex Delfanne

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Cushion panel. 1916. Wool on canvas. 20 7/8 × 20 1/2″ (53 × 52 cm). Museum für Gestaltung, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zurich. Decorative Arts Collection. Courtesy Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, ZHdK

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Powder Box. c. 1918. Paint and metallic powder on wood. Height: 11 3/4″ (29.8 cm), diam.: 6 1/2″ (16.5 cm). Private collection, on long-term loan to the Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland. Courtesy Aargauer Kunsthaus Aarau, photo Peter Schälchli

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Geometric Forms (beaded bag). 1918. Glass beads, metal beads, thread, cord, and fabric. Height: 5 1/8″ (13 cm), diam.: 2 3/8″ (6 cm). Museum für Gestaltung, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zurich. Decorative Arts Collection. Courtesy Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, ZHdK

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Guards (marionette for King Stag). 1918. Metallic paint and oil on wood; metal hardware. Height: 21 7/8″ (55.5 cm), diam.: 7 1/16″ (18 cm). Museum für Gestaltung, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zurich. Decorative Arts Collection. Courtesy Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, ZHdK

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Dada Head. 1920. Oil and metallic paint on wood Height: 11 9/16″ (29.4 cm), diam.: 5 1/2″ (14 cm). Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, photo Philippe Migeat

Nic Aluf. Sophie Taeuber with her Dada Head. 1920. Gelatin silver print on board. 4 5/8 x 3 3/4″ (11.7 x 9.6 cm). Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin. Photo: Wolfgang Morell

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Composition of Quadrangular, Polychrome, Dense Strokes. 1920. Gouache and pencil on paper. 14 9/16 × 10 5/8″ (37 × 27 cm). Private collection, Switzerland. Photo Peter Schälchli

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Geometric Forms, Abstract Motifs (tablecloth). 1922. Silk on tulle. 63 × 51 3/16″ (160 × 130 cm). Museum für Gestaltung, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zurich. Decorative Arts Collection. Photo Umberto Romito and Ivan Suta

Photographer unknown. Sophie Taeuber-Arp in costume for a housewarming party organized by artist Walter Helbig, Ascona, Switzerland. August 1925. Fondation Arp, Clamart, France. © Fondation Arp, Clamart

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Five Extended Figures. 1926. Gouache, metallic paint, and pencil on paper. 11 1/2 × 9 1/16″ (29.2 × 23 cm). Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin. Photo Alex Delfanne

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Aubette 127 (axonometric drawing of the “Five O’Clock” tearoom in the Aubette, Strasbourg, France). 1927. Gouache, metallic paint, ink, and pencil on diazotype  48 7/16 × 39″ (123 × 99 cm). Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg, France. Photo Musées de Strasbourg, M. Bertola

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Off-Center Abstract Composition (stained-glass window for the apartment of André Horn, Strasbourg, France). 1928. Stained glass. 18 1/8 × 17 5/16″ (46 × 44 cm). Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg, France. Photo Musées de Strasbourg

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Axonometric drawing of the interior of the Galerie Goemans, Paris. 1929. Ink and pencil on tracing paper. 19 7/8 × 20 5/16″ (50.5 × 51.6 cm). Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin. Photo Alex Delfanne

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Composition (Two Disks Cut by a Line). 1931. Oil and metallic paint on canvas. 12 5/8 × 10 1/16″ (32 × 25.5 cm). Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland. Gift of the Müller-Widmann Collection, Basel. Courtesy Aargauer Kunsthaus Aarau, photo Brigitt Lattmann

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Four Spaces with Broken Cross. 1932. Oil on canvas. 29 5/16 × 25 3/8″ (74.5 × 64.5 cm). Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, photo Bertrand Prévost

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Cadaqués. 1932. Gouache and pencil on paper. 13 3/8 × 9 13/16″ (34 × 25 cm). Fondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno, Switzerland © SIK- ISEA, Zurich, photo Philipp Hitz

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Circle Picture. 1933. Oil on canvas. 29 1/4 × 47 3/16″ (74.3 × 119.8 cm). Kunstmuseum Bern. Gift of Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach © Kunstmuseum Bern

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Gradation. 1934. Oil on canvas. 25 9/16 × 19 11/16″ (65 × 50 cm)
Private collection © Luis Lourenço

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Animated Circle Picture. 1935. Oil on canvas. 19 7/8 × 25 5/8″ (50.5 × 65.1 cm). Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y. Charles Clifton Fund. Courtesy Albright-Knox Art Gallery, photo Brenda Bieger

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Relief. 1936. Oil on wood and plywood. 19 11/16 × 26 15/16 × 3 1/8″ (50 × 68.5 × 8 cm). Kunstmuseum Basel. Gift of Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach. Kunstmuseum Basel, photo Martin P. Bühler

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. “Flight”: Round Relief in Three Heights. 1937. Oil on plywood. Diam.: 23 5/8″ (60 cm), depth: 2 3/8″ (6 cm). Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin. Photo Alex Delfanne

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Head. 1937. Wood. Height: 15 5/16″ (38.9 cm), diam.: 7 3/4″ (19.7 cm). Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn. Gift of Jean Arp in memory of Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Photo Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Lines of Summer. 1941 Colored pencil and pencil on paper. 25 9/16 × 19 11/16″ (65 × 50 cm). Private collection, on long-term loan to the Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland. Courtesy Aargauer Kunsthaus Aarau, photo Peter Schälchli