Women of Switzerland

Sophie Taeuber-Arp

Artist, 1889-1943

Sophie Taeuber-Arp was one of the most important artists of the twentieth century and a key figure in the Dada movement in Zurich. She challenged traditional hierarchies in fine and applied art and worked as a textile designer, painter, sculptor, architect, stage-set and interior designer, performer, choreographer, teacher and writer. Her practice encompassed several mediums and techniques which included her pioneering use of the grid, free-flowing geometric forms and abstracted figures, utilizing a unique interplay between colour and form. 1926 marked a turning point in Taeuber-Arp’s career when she was commissioned to design the interiors of the Aubette, a cultural centre in Strasbourg. This commission gave Taeuber-Arp and her husband Hans Arp the financial freedom to move to France, which proved to be the most productive period in her life. Taeuber-Arp and her husband returned to Zurich during the Second World War, where she died prematurely and tragically from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s portrait was on the 50-franc banknote for twenty years (1995-2016) and her work is included in many international collections.

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Sophie Taeuber-Arp