Deserves to be much better known: Sophie Taeuber-Arp at Tate Modern reviewed

Great Swiss artists, like famous Belgians, might seem to be an amusingly underpopulated category. Actually, as with celebrated Flemings and Walloons, when you start counting you discover there are more of them than you thought. Paul Klee, for example, and Alberto Giacometti. A third, whose work is reassessed in a large exhibition at Tate Modern, was Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Clearly, unlike the other two, hers is far from being a household name even in fairly artistic homes. There are several reasons for this, one perhaps being the unwieldiness of that cognomen itself. She was born Sophie Henriette Gertrud Taeuber in 1889 at Davos, and as was then the custom, hyphenated her

Alfred Brendel the Dadaist

How many people are celebrating the fact that, last week, one of Europe’s most inspired writers about music, modern art and aesthetics celebrated his 90th birthday? The answer is relatively few, which might seem surprising. He is a world-renowned authority on the grotesque and the absurd — territory through which he darts mischievously in his poems, originally composed in his native German. But you have to turn to his essays written in English to experience his refined sarcasm, which is either delicious or mortifying, depending on whether you feel incriminated by his strictures against intellectual laziness. He is quirky and rigorous — a combination associated with his beloved Dada, a