In pouring over Sophie Tauber-Arp’s work this past summer, I found her spirit to be the most inspiring aspect about her. It’s clear she enjoyed life despite her hardships, and that she used art and making to uplift! - herself - perhaps, foremost. She took on an incredibly vast selection of media that brought about a multitude of outcomes. Her compositions display both a sense of immediate - intuitive - gestural - makings, and painstakingly planned out executions. This tension, improvisation // premeditation, perhaps, gives life to her work : her looseness balanced by considered care. A playful freedom that she took seriously.
In starting these works on paper, while in response to these findings, I wanted to conjure Sophie’s high-minded spirit in my work as well. An inspired color palette provided the container of premeditation, and the layered marks were kept light and jaunty, like a hand dance. Waiting and careful looking created a measure of restraint so works didn’t become overworked, heavy, or muddy. The pochote paper provided a resting place: a soft textured expanse: that slows down looking, softening the eyes.
Now that I’ve seen Sophie’s work in person, there are different take-aways that will inspire another (set of) painting(s) - a larger container (a bigger work). A continuation of exploration in the tension between improvisation and premeditation.
— COLLEEN HERMAN