Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Sentry puppet from König Hirsch (The stag king). 1918
The basic elements of Taeuber-Arp’s puppets, turned pieces of wood, are round and sculptural, linked by ring-bolt joints that allow movement in many directions. Puppets were a traditional and popular art form that appeared in many avant-garde circles between the world wars, some growing out of studio projects and others conceived within groups of friends as both a playful diversion and an outlet for new ideas on design, choreography, and performance. Taeuber-Arp, the only woman on the committee of the avant-garde Swiss Puppet Theater, established in 1918, was able to draw on her experience as a performer at Dada soirees and as a dancer at Rudolf von Laban’s school of movement in Zurich.
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