Hans Arp (1886 - 1966)

Lot 159: Jean Arp , 1886-1966 Demeter Polished bronze, gold patina


May 8, 2008
New York, NY, US

More About this Item

Description: Conceived in 1960 in an edition of 5. According to a letter from the artist, this work is the first of the five casts. Polished bronze, gold patina
Dimensions: measurements height: 26 1/4 in. alternate measurements 66.7 cm
Literature: Giuseppe Marchiori, Arp, Milan, 1964, p. 30
Herbert Read, The Art of Jean Arp, New York, 1968, no. 175, illustrations of another cast pp. 149, 210
Eduard Trier, Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach and François Arp, Jean Arp, Sculpture, His Last Ten Years, New York, 1968, no. 212, illustration of another cast pp. 112-13
John Hancock and Stefanie Poley, Eds., Arp, 1886-1966 (exhibition catalogue), Cambridge, 1986, no. 252, illustrations of the marble and bronze versions pp. 235, 309
Serge Fauchereau, Arp, Barcelona, 1988, illustration of the marble p. 61
Jean Arp, L'invention de la forme (exhibition catalogue), Paris, 2004, illustrations of the marbles pp. 10, 15
Provenance: Galerie Pierre, Paris
Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1962)
Often guided by chance and intuition, Arp enjoyed creating organic, irregular shapes evocative of natural forms and parts of the human anatomy. Although he developed a highly abstract visual vocabulary, in his sculptures Arp always established a connection between these biomorphic forms and elements of the natural world in such a way as to unveil the mysterious and poetic elements hidden in everyday forms. The artist always enjoyed seeing his sculptures in outdoor settings where they could enter into a dialogue with the natural world. This was nowhere more evident than in the garden outside his studio (fig. 2), where a marble version of Demeter served as a focal point. Although the highly polished form of the present work demonstrates the sleek modernist aesthetic that had been defined by Brancusi and Laurens, its amorphous and irregular shape evidences some of the central theme's of Arp's original manifesto. "All things, and man as well, should be like nature, without measure," he wrote as a young artist, "I wanted to create new appearances, to extract new forms from man" (quoted in Serge Fauchereau, op. cit., p. 15). Fig. 1 The artist in his studio in Meudon, 1950 Fig. 2 The garden in front of Arp's studio at Meudon, with the marble version of the current work
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