London Design Festival: Fondation Arp

London Design Festival: Fondation Arp

For London Design Festival 2024, Christopher Farr x Fondation Arp will present two new rugs, the designs adapted from original artworks of the trailblazing multidisciplinary Swiss artist and designer Sophie Taeuber-Arp. The installation in September at the Christopher Farr Shoreditch Studio will include printed textiles developed from Taeuber’s artwork by Christopher Farr Cloth and modernist furniture from 8 Holland Street gallery.

London Design Festival exhibition, as part of Shoreditch Design Triangle: Mon 16th – Sun 22nd Sept 2024.

Mon-Fri 10:00 – 18:00, with SDT late night Tues 17th until 21:00, Sat 21st / Sun 22nd 11:00 – 18:00.

Christopher Farr Shoreditch Studio, 18 Calvin St, London E1 6HF

1927, Strasbourg, Sophie Taeuber-Arp in her studio-office at l'Aubette, © Fondation Arp
Etude Ligne, 1941, hand knotted rug, Christopher Farr x Fondation Arp
Arp Fondation, Sébastien Tardy, © Fondation Arp
1920, Sophie Taeuber-Arp with Dada head. ©Nic Aluf

All original artworks are held in the archives at the Fondation Arp, just outside Paris. Christopher Farr will produce one hand knotted rug ‘Etude Ligne, 1941’ from Taeuber-Arp’s last series of works, and for CF Editions, one hand tufted rug ‘Aubette 58’, from an original artwork made for Cafe de l’Aubette in 1926-27, an interiors project completed – without hierarchy – with her husband Hans-Jean Arp and Theo van Doesburg, founder of De Stijl. Each rug will be numbered and delivered with a signed certificate of authenticity, much like a limited edition work of art.

1918, Zurich, Sophie Taeuber and Jean Arp iin front of the King Stag puppets, © Fondation Arp

Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889–1943), textile designer, architect, illustrator, sculptor, abstract artist, teacher, and magazine editor, refused to be confined to one discipline and pushed the boundaries between applied and fine arts. She was central to the pre-WWII European art scene, and a close follower of the Dada movement. Her Dada abstracted sculpted head proved to be an iconic image of her production, and the way she builds bridges between all artistic techniques.

Her prodigious output was recognised in the Tate Modern Retrospective exhibition in 2021, and demonstrated her position as one of the most important avant-garde abstract artists of the last century. Seeking to develop a new language, with a more utopian dream which many felt needed in reaction to the broken social system, she employed elements and applied them across different genres.

1916-1917, Zurich, Sophie Taeuber dancing in a Janco mask at the Cabaret Voltaire. © Fondation Arp
1925, Ascona, Sophie Taeuber-Arp. © Fondation Arp

Only when we go into ourselves and attempt to be entirely true to ourselves will we succeed in making things of value….”
Sophie Taeuber-Arp

Born in 1889 in Davos, she trained in applied arts at the interdisciplinary Debschitz School in Munich, then returned to her native Switzerland where she attended Rudolf von Laban’s seminal school for expressionist dance. In Zurich she met her future husband Jean Arp, with whom she collaborated with until the end of her life. Her far reaching practice covered textiles, painting, sculpture, applied arts, architecture, interior designer projects.

During WWI, Switzerland, who had remained neutral, became home to an international crowd of refugee artists who rejected convention and were also anti-bourgeois which many had felt had caused the problems leading to war. In 1940, the Taeuber-Arps fled to south France and lived In exile with with Sonia Delaunay, Alberto Magnelli and others, then returning to Zurich in 1942 with hopes to emigrate to the USA. The following year, Taeuber-Arp’s life was cut short, when after missing a train, she stayed overnight in her friend Max Bill’s house, and was discovered the next morning poisoned by carbon monoxide, due to a faulty wood-burning stove..

Her work was influential to the growth of the Feminist movement in the 1960s, and in 1995, the Swiss government redesigned their 50 Swiss franc note with a portrait of Sophie Taeuber-Arp.

ABOUT FONDATION ARP – The Fondation Arp, decreed a «musée de France», is an artist foundation located in the studio of Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber, dedicated to the dissemination and protection of their legacy.

London Design Festival: Fondation Arp