Period IV

Strasbourg, Aubette, staircase 1928. Photomontage Kunstmuseum Basel. Photo/Foto: TES.

The Aubette in Basel

The Aubette in Strasbourg ? Wrong, the Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum) in Basel. The museum pays attention to Sophie Taeuber (1889-1943). The Swiss born artist (Davos) studied applied arts in St. Gall and Munich. The British Arts and Craft Movement strongly influenced her and she was committed to the manual craftsmanship and the beauty of simple materials.

In 1916, Zurichs trade school hired her to teach design and embroidery. She met her future husband Hand Arp (1886-1966) in Zurich and she became involved in Dada.  She married Hans Arp in 1922, hence the name Taeuber-Arp.  Hans Arp (1886-1966) was from Strasbourg.

After a long artistic development (Dada, Zurich 1916-1928, the international avant garde and the so-called Cercle et Carré and constructivism in Paris), Sophie and her husband were engaged in the Aubette-project in Strasbourg.

Their (revolutionary) language of colours, geometric abstraction and modern architecture was based on compositions of square and rectangular fields of colour. Aubette, a neo-classical building from the eighteenth century ,was renovated by Sophie and other avant-garde artists.

She took on the tearoom, the Aubette bar and the bar in the lobby. Her husband and the Dutch designer Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931, founder of the Stijll) designed other components of the project. The Aubette is a museum nowadays.

Sophie exhibited 24 abstract works (some of them on show) in the exhibition ‘Konstruktuvisten’ at the Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) in Basel in 1937.

(Further information: Gelebte Abstraktion/Living Abstraction, www.kunstmuseumbasel.ch).