It has been suggested that this piece is inspired by the Aubette, a historical building in Strasbourg, France. Two years before she created this artwork, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Jean Arp and Theo van Doesburg were commissioned to redesign the Café Aubette. Taeuber-Arp was responsible for designing the entrance aisle, tearoom, and two bars, and the redesign led to the Aubette being described by some as the Sistine Chapel of abstract art. In this piece, Taeuber-Arp paints a side-view of a café scene, complete with semi-abstract serving staff and diners, giving an impression of a lively and bustling atmosphere.
Date of work
Original: Oil paint, metallic pigments, metallic powder and graphite on canvas 54.3 × 73.3 cm Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin Photo: Alex Delfanne
Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889–1943) was an artist but also a dancer, designer, puppet maker, architect and editor. A true pioneer of modern art, she became a teacher after studying art and dance and later taught others how to design patterns for textiles. She ‘lived abstraction’, and became one of the most important concrete and geometric abstract artists. Responsible for co-founding the dada art movement, Tauber-Arp’s way with colours and shapes unlocked new possibilities in art, costume and interior design.