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Arp / Taeuber-Arp / Bill


5 May – 6 October 2024 / Kunstmuseum

Alliances sheds light on the role and involvement of Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Max Bill in important artists' groups and magazines in the 1930s and 1940s.

Hans/Jean ArpAssiette, fourchette et nombril, 1923Relief, 59 x 61 cmHeinrich Gebert Kulturstiftung Appenzell

Hans/Jean Arp
Assiette, fourchette et nombril, 1923
Relief, 59 x 61 cm
Heinrich Gebert Kulturstiftung Appenzell

Sophie Taeuber-ArpLignes géométriques et ondoyantes, 1941Pencils on paper, 32 × 30.5 cmFondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno

Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Lignes géométriques et ondoyantes, 1941
Pencils on paper, 32 × 30.5 cm
Fondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno

Plastique Plastic No. 4Ed.  Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Paris / New York, Winter 1939Magazine cover: Lithography and letterpress printing, 42.2 x 15.7 cmFondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno

Plastique Plastic No. 4
Ed. Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Paris / New York, Winter 1939
Magazine cover: Lithography and letterpress printing, 42.2 x 15.7 cm
Fondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno

Sophie Taeuber-ArpCercles mouvementés, 1934Gouache and pencil on paperFondazione Marguerite Arp, LocarnoPhoto: Roberto Pellegrini

Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Cercles mouvementés
, 1934
Gouache and pencil on paper
Fondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno
Photo: Roberto Pellegrini

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In collaboration between the Kunstmuseum Appenzell and the Fondazione Marguerite Arp, an exhibition has been created that highlights the friendship and collaboration between Hans Arp (1886-1966), Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943) and Max Bill (1908-1994). In a period characterised by the struggle for avant-garde art, groups of artists gained in importance, giving rise to collective forms of communication, pioneering ideas and works of art.

This exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Appenzell illustrates the commitment of avant-garde artists' groups to non-objective art. It features portfolio works that were created as joint artistic and publishing productions during or in the years before the Second World War – at a time when the artistic vanguard was increasingly marginalised. Activities included the production of print series, the publication of books and magazines and participation in exhibitions. Paintings, sculptures and reliefs by Arp, Taeuber-Arp and Bill, some of which were included in important historical exhibitions, are included in the exhibition. Letters complement the presentation and shed light on the interaction between the three protagonists. Most of the works originate from the Fondazione Marguerite Arp and the collection of Chantal and Jakob Bill, as well as from institutional and private collections.

Of outstanding significance is the presentation of the magazine Plastique / Plastic, which was dedicated to non-figurative art. Five issues were published between 1935 and 1939, largely characterised by Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Like the artists' associations, the magazine facilitated networking between artists and the transatlantic exchange of the constructive avant-garde at a time when countless artists had already turned their backs on Europe. Issue number six could not be realised due to the early death of the artist. The designs, which were developed by Taeuber-Arp together with Max Bill, are being shown for the first time in an exhibition. Issue no. 6 is also a focal point of the publication produced to accompany the exhibition.

Curated by Dr Simona Martinoli (Director Fondazione Marguerite Arp) and Stefanie Gschwend (Director Kunstmuseum / Kunsthalle Appenzell).

New publication

The pub­lic­a­tion al­li­an­zen. arp, taeuber-arp, bill with texts by Isa­belle Ewig, Wal­burga Krupp and Jakob Bill and a fore­word by Stefanie Gschwend and Si­mona Mar­tinoli is being pub­lished by Scheide­g­ger & Spiess on the oc­ca­sion of the ex­hib­i­tion.

In­clud­ing many ma­ter­i­als pub­lished for the first time, this volume sheds light on the artist­ic and in­tel­lec­tu­al pres­ence of Arp, Taeuber-Arp and Bill in im­port­ant artists' groups and magazines of the 1930s and 1940s.

Ap­pears at the be­gin­ning of May
Pub­lished by Scheide­g­ger & Spiess
ed­ited by Jakob Bill, Stefanie Gschwend and Si­mona Mar­tinoli
Lan­guage Ger­man 
Hard­back, 144 pages
132 col­our and 15 b/w il­lus­tra­tions
21 x 27 cm
ISBN 978-3-03942-165-7

The exhibition is kindly supported by

Susanne und Mar­tin Knechtli-Krad­olfer-Stif­tung
Steinegg Stif­tung
Hans und Wilma Stutz Sti­f­­tung
Ber­to­ld Suh­ner Stif­tung
Dr. Fred Sty­ger Stif­tung

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