Hans Arp / Sophie Taeuber-Arp / Max Bill: Allianzen

Hans Arp / Sophie Taeuber-Arp / Max Bill: Allianzen

Kunstmuseum and Kunsthalle Appenzell

May 2, 2024
Hans Arp / Sophie Taeuber-Arp / Max Bill
May 5–October 6, 2024
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Kunstmuseum Appenzell
Unterrainstrasse 5
9050 Appenzell

Allianzen 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. For the first time, the designs and drafts for the sixth issue of Plastique Plastic, the magazine for non-objective art, which were developed by Taeuber-Arp together with Max Bill, are being shown in an exhibition.

In collaboration between the Kunstmuseum Appenzell and the Fondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno (Switzerland), an exhibition has been created that highlights the friendship and collaboration between Hans Arp (1886–1966), Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889–1943) and Max Bill (1908–94). 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 shows 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 that appeared to accompany the exhibition.

A complementary chapter to the exhibition will be shown at the Fondazione Marguerite Arp in Locarno from March 31 to November 3, 2024 in parallel.

Curators: Stefanie Gschwend (Director Kunstmuseum / Kunsthalle Appenzell) and Simona Martinoli (Director Fondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno).

Publication: On the occasion of the exhibition the publication allianzen. arp, taeuber-arp, bill was published by Scheidegger & Spiess with texts by Isabelle Ewig, Walburga Krupp and Jakob Bill, edited by Jakob Bill, Stefanie Gschwend and Simona Martinoli.

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Kunstmuseum and Kunsthalle Appenzell
May 2, 2024

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