Hauser & Wirth New York presents a special exhibition juxtaposing key works by pioneering early 20th-century Swiss modernist Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943) with works by three contemporary artists—Leonor Antunes, Ellen Lesperance and Nicolas Party.
On view through 4 November, ‘Exemplary Modern. Sophie Taeuber-Arp with Contemporary Artists’ has been organized by Tanya Barson.
‘Exemplary Modern. Sophie Taeuber- Arp with Contemporary Artists’ highlights the versatility and enduring legacy of the Swiss avant-garde master. Through the sculptures, works on paper and textile on view, the practices of Antunes, Lesperance and Party resonate with that of Taeuber-Arp, underscoring the diversity and enduring influence of her radical interdisciplinary oeuvre.
The exhibition at Hauser & Wirth features examples by Taeuber-Arp that foreground her varied interests and inventive use of materials. Different series of compositions on paper typify her meticulous attention to the interplay of geometry and color, a formal concern that informed much of her practice. Sketches of scenographies showcase the artist’s mastery in designing theatrical space, while a beadwork purse on view encapsulates her brilliance in dissolving the line between applied and fine art.
In this short film from Ursula magazine, Leonor Antunes, Ellen Lesperance and Nicolas Party speak about the ways in which Taeuber-Arp’s exuberant multidisciplinary experimentation has influenced their own work.
By situating such objects in conversation with new and recent works by Antunes, Lesperance and Party, the exhibition reveals ways in which Taeuber-Arp’s multifaceted career and exceptional versatility continue to generate ripples across art today.
Antunes works in a way that is complementary to Taeuber-Arp by drawing on a wide range of disciplines and sometimes unconventional materials. That Antunes’s sensitivity and intelligence in her use of materials deliberately sets aside the traditional hierarchies placed upon media or disciplines, and consciously embraces techniques associated with craft, brings her work into vivid alignment with that of Taeuber-Arp.
Lesperance’s sense of pattern and design also calls to mind the pattern and decoration movement (known also as the new decorativeness) of the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, to which art education was fundamental. Thus the artist’s practice aligns to that of Taeuber-Arp with its dedication to balancing figurative and abstract design, and to teaching and writing (Taeuber-Arp taught at the Applied Arts Department of Zurich’s Trade School for 13 years and in 1922 published her text, ‘Remarks on Instruction in Ornamental Design’).
Tue 26 Sep 2023, 6 pm
On the occasion of the exhibition 'Exemplary Modern. Sophie Taeuber-Arp with Contemporary Artists' at Hauser & Wirth 69th Street, and in tandem with the site-specific installation ‘Nicolas Party and Rosalba Carriera’ at The Frick Collection, please join us for a conversation with artist Nicolas Party and The Frick’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Xavier Salomon.