Tate Modern to host a major exhibition on the medium merging works of Sophie Taeuber-Arp

The first major UK exhibition of the artist’s work will feature over 200 objects, collated from collections across the world.

18 June 2021

It’s Nice That is partnering with the Tate Modern for its Sophie Taeuber-Arp exhibition this summer (from 15 July – 17 October 2021), also offering readers a two-for-one deal on tickets.

This July, the Tate Modern is to host an extensive retrospective into the medium hopping works of artist, Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Widely recognised and described by the Tate “as one of the most innovative artists and designers of the 20th Century,” the three-month-long exhibition brings together collections across Europe and America in the first major UK exhibition of her work.

Promising to show how Taeuber-Arp “blazed a new path for the development of abstraction,” the exhibition shall showcase over 200 objects across the artist’s career from her roles as a painter, architect, teacher, writer, textile designer, and will also feature marionettes and interiors. Taeuber-Arp began her creative career studying fine and applied arts in Munich before moving to Zurich, then “an international hub for the avant-garde during the First World War,” says the Tate. It was here she met her lifelong partner, artist and poet Jean (Hans) Arp, and began the first part of her career as a textile practitioner and teacher, while also beginning to experiment with non-figurative art.

As Tate explains, Taeuber-Arp began to respond “to the grid structure of textiles and the bold colours of vernacular culture,” in turn creating “vivid works on paper and embroideries.” Her work instantly stood apart from her contemporaries in a style that has gone on to influence numerous artists, illustrators and designers. A number of these works, from beaded bags, jewellery, rugs, pillowcases and tapestries, will be shared in the exhibition side-by-side, “to reflect the fluid way in which Taeuber-Arp worked concurrently across disciplines.”

Later in her career, at this point the end of the war, Taeuber-Arp was an active artist within the Dada movement, another section of her career on display at the Tate. Her Dada Heads, made from turned wood, are recognised as some of the most iconic artworks of the era, but she also embraced the performative side of the movement at this stage. Then, in the 1920s, the artist began to experiment with architecture and interior design for both private houses and public spaces. In a period that sees Taeuber-Arp embrace modernism, the Tate will display designs and furniture from these projects. Later in the 1920s, she became more involved in the Parisian art scene resulting in a return to painting, while also translating her compositions to turned-wood reliefs too.

At the beginning of the Second World War, Taeuber-Arp left Paris as a displaced artist, returning to the medium of drawing “as one of a few means of artistic expression available.” The exhibition ends with these works in a final room dedicated to pieces made Taeuber-Arp while in exile. “These works embody her lifelong interest in abstraction, her constant development of new ideas, and her ability to embrace new materials and methods in a way that remains hugely influential for artists today,” says the Tate.

Sophie Taeuber-Arp at the Tate Modern opens on 15 July and runs until 17 October 2021. It’s Nice That is also pleased to offer a two-for-one offer on tickets for this exhibition. Simply enter the code, ITSNICETHAT241 when booking online, or call 020 7887 8888 and quote “ITSNICETHAT241”.

The offer is valid to use between today (18 June) and ends Wednesday 14 July 2021, and it is available on full price tickets to the exhibition (tickets are usually £16 (without donation)). This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discounts or promotions. No cash alternatives. Subject to availability. The promoter reserves the right to cancel offers at any time. Ticket offer cannot be used for group bookings.


Nicolai Aluf: Sophie Taeuber with her Dada head 1920. Gelatin silver print on card, 12.9 × 9.8, Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin.


Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Vase Bearer. c. 1916–25. Gouache, metallic paint, and pencil on paper on board, 7 1⁄16 x 6 5⁄16" (18 x 16 cm). Private collection.


Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Composition of Circles and Overlapping Angles 1930. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Riklis Collection of McCrory Corporation.Photo: The Museum of Modern Art, Department of Imaging and Visual Resources. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.


Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Stag (marionette for ‘King Stag’) 1918. Oil paint on wood; brass sheet; metallic paint on metallic paper; metal hardware 50 × 17.8 × 18. Museum für Gestaltung, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zurich. Decorative Arts Collection.

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Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Colored Gradation. 1939. Oil on canvas 25 1⁄2 x 19 11⁄16" (64.8 x 50 cm). Kunstmuseum Bern. Gift of Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach.

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.


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