Collection

Jean ARP

[1887 - 1966]

Constellation of Black Forms on the Gray Ground [1937]

  • paint on wood 80.1×61.1×3.7cm

[Audio Guide]

The organic shapes of planets and stars are floating against the background of a grey night sky. These are the stars of the Milky Way—it looks as though they are transforming into different shapes as part of the process of maturation. The birth of the stars is the origin of everything in the universe. Existence is brought forth by the artist, Jean Arp. However, stars shine with light, so why do they have a dark tone here? This is a reflection of Arp’s artistic perspective due to his experiences with the Dadaist movement, which attempted to create new things from nothing as a negation of established art. Arp has made statements such as the following: “We do not wish to copy nature. We do not want to reproduce, we want to produce.” Just as nature brings forth all the things in existence, he also creates artworks. Accordingly, we can assume that it is Arp’s goal to become one with nature.

Man, Mustache and Navel [1928-29]

  • paint on wood 79.9×79.3×9.0cm

[Audio Guide]

The organic shapes used in Arp’s works are similar to those of living things. Arp has described his unique view of art as: “Art is like fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother’s womb.” The figure depicted in this work has soft curves, large, horn-like ears, and a mustache that occupies most of their face. This provokes a vaguely humorous feeling, as the parts of the body are totally transformed into different shapes. A white circle is floating above the head—a navel separated totally from the body. Through the formation of various shapes, Arp conveys his emotions as he creates works that are sympathetic to nature through their transformation.

Beard - Hat [1923]

  • lithograph on paper 46.0×36.0cm

Sea [1923]

  • lithograph on paper 46.0×36.0cm

Navel [1923]

  • lithograph on paper 46.0×36.0cm

Navel - Bottle [1923]

  • lithograph on paper 46.0×36.0cm

Beard - Watch [1923]

  • lithograph on paper 46.0×36.0cm

Eggbeater [1923]

  • lithograph on paper 46.0×36.0cm

Arabic Eight [1923]

  • lithograph on paper 46.0×36.0cm

7 Arpaden [1923]

  • lithograph on paper 7 pieces
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