A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art

By Ian Chilvers | Go to book overview

T

Taaffe, Philip. See NEO-GEO.

tableaux-objects. A term applied by * Braque and * Picasso to certain of their *Cubist pictures to emphasize that they were constructed objects with their own independent existence rather than primarily a reflection of something in the outside world.

Tachisme (or Tachism). A style of abstract painting popular in the late 1940s and the 1950s characterized by the use of irregular dabs or splotches of colour (tache is French for spot or blotch). The term was first used in this sense in about 1951 (the French critics Charles Estienne and Pierre Guéguen have each been credited with coining it) and it was given wide currency by Michel Tapié in his book Un Art autre ( 1952). In its intuitive, spontaneous approach, Tachisme has affinities with *Abstract Expressionism (although initially it developed independently of it), and the term is often used as a generic label for any European painting of the time that parallels the American movement. However, Tachisme was primarily a French phenomenon (associated particularly with the *École de Paris) and Tachiste paintings are characteristically more suave, sensual, and concerned with beautiful handling (belle facture) than the work of the Abstract Expressionists, which can be aggressively raw in comparison. Leading exponents of Tachisme include Jean *Fautrier, Georges *Mathieu, and Pierre *Soulages, together with Hans *Hartung and *Wols, who were German-born but French- based.

The terms 'abstraction lyrique' (*Lyrical Abstraction), '*Art Autre (other art), and '*Art Informel' (art without form) are often used more or less synonymously with Tachisme, although certain critics use them to convey different nuances, sometimes corresponding with niceties of theory rather than observable differences in practice. It seems reasonable, however, to regard Tachisme as one aspect of the broader notion of Art Informel. (To add to the confusion of terminology, the word 'tachiste' was used differently in the 19th century, being applied pejoratively to the *Impressionists.)

Taeuber-Arp, Sophie (née Taeuber) (1889- 1943). Swiss designer, textile artist, painter, sculptor, and editor, the wife and frequent collaborator of Jean *Arp. She was born at Davos and studied textile design at the School of Art in St Gallen, 1908-10. After continuing her studies in Munich (where she also trained as a dancer) and in Hamburg, she taught weaving and textile design at the School of Arts and Crafts in Zurich from 1916 to 1928. She met Arp in 1915 and they evidently fell in love at first sight, although they did not marry until 1922. From 1915 until Arp's departure for Cologne in 1919 they collaborated on works of various kinds--mainly abstract collages--and were leading lights of the *Dada movement in Zurich. Arp wrote that 'In 1915 Sophie Taeuber and I carried out our first works in the simplest forms, using painting, embroidery and pasted paper', and he often paid tribute to the inspiration she gave him: 'It was Sophie Taeuber who, through the example of her clear work and her clear life, showed me the right way, the way of beauty.' Herbert *Read also stresses her love of clarity, which contrasted with Arp's taste for the accidental: 'For all its feminine charm and playful fantasy, Sophie's work was always marked by a certain craft-like quality: she was delicate but precise, and if one reviews her work as a whole, one is struck by its geometrical regularity. Her ideal was always clarity. But Arp, early in his Dada days, discovered "the law of chance", the part that could be played in art by the unconscious' ( Arp, 1968). Sophie played an important part

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A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Abbreviations xiv
  • A 1
  • B 46
  • C 106
  • D 154
  • E 189
  • F 204
  • G 228
  • H 264
  • I 293
  • J 299
  • K 308
  • L 332
  • M 360
  • N 426
  • O 450
  • P 461
  • Q 502
  • R 503
  • S 540
  • T 605
  • U 626
  • V 631
  • W 646
  • X 663
  • Y 665
  • Z 667
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