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Margaret Roberts, Night, 2021, ply, paint, wax, place, 120cm high and variable width.

Night is part of Que des femmes / Only women, curated by Lisa Pang and Anya Pesce, as a Factory 49 satellite of Biennale Internationale d’art non-objectif in the city of Pont-de-Claix, France, curated by Roland Orepük and opening 18 September 2021, running till 13 November. Que des femmes / Only women shows the work of artists Annelies Jahn, Anya Pesce, Susan Andrews, Elke Wohlfahrt, Elisabeth Bodey, Jan Handel, Karen Benton, Kate Mackay, Louise Blyton, Lynne Eastaway, Mandy Burgess, Margaret Roberts, Melinda Clyne, Michelle Le Dain, Nicola McClelland, Pamela Leung, Pia Larsen, Ro Murray, Rox De Luca, Sara Lindsay, Sarah Fitzgerald, Sue Callanan and Wendy Kelly.


Night reproduces Sophie Taeuber’s 19cm x 24cm coloured image, Grand Triangle, dated 1916, making it 5 times bigger, cutting out its 12 enlarged shapes in ply, and waxing each shape black on all sides, inadvertently suggesting the work of Louise Nevelson, which enabled me to borrow the title she often used, Night. I began treating some of Taeuber’s works in this way a few years ago, thinking that it enables the works to recognise their spatial locations by letting in the live space of their locations more than artworks that follow the convention of spatial self-containment. I thought of this treatment as another way of connecting to place, a connection that was once more common in European painting—for example, in altarpieces or murals in churches—but which diminished after the Reformation when paintings became more mobile and were more often made for private collections. I was bringing the conventions of painting and installation closer to each other. I later came to see that Sophie herself had built an engagement with place into some of her works, by composing them with elements of the dance notation that she would have used in her first love, being an experimental dancer. This enables such paintings to seem to be instructions to move, to be implicitly recognising the live physical location required for the movement of dancers, which creates another link to the moveable, enlarged shapes that I like to turn her paintings into. In Night, the shapes are almost human size, making them potential dance partners for visitors. I don’t always wax her paintings black as I did with Night, but I like the way it suggests our temporal distance from when Sophie made Grand Triangle, and the even greater distance from when the inventive arts were more connected, which it appears from her work she wanted them to be.

 

 

Sophie Taeuber Grand Triangle. Composition verticale-horizontale, 1916, coloured pencil on paper, 19.3 x 23.6cm. Stiftung Hans Arp und Sophie Taeuber-Arp.

 

Other re-makes of Sophie Taeuber's works on this site are: 

Sophie's Circles,Sophie'sCostumeWait for Sophie96Dance,  Place and Practice,