Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Artist of the day, October 31: Jean Arp, French sculptor, painter, and poet

Jean Arp, (Jean-Pierre Guillaume Arp), (1887-1966), was a French sculptor, painter, and poet who was one of the leaders of the European avant-garde in the arts during the first half of the 20th century.

Jean Arp could (and did) make anything into art. Best-known for his biomorphic sculptures, and one of the most versatile creative minds of the early-20th century, he fashioned sculptures out of plaster, stone and bronze, and also expressed himself in paintings, drawings, collages and poems. His approach to form, often referred to as organic abstraction, was remarkably consistent: his wavy lines suggested plants, body parts and other natural motifs, while remaining entirely abstract. Like an extraterrestrial on earth for the very first time, Arp's genius was in presenting visual information as if he is first seeing it. Transformation, growth, fecundity, and metamorphosis are among the dominant themes in his work.

Arp's work is non-representational, yet firmly rooted in nature. His most abstract compositions suggest organic forms. This keeps the viewer curious, and provides a consistent framework for satisfying the eye.

One of the first artists to make randomness and chance part of the work, Arp saw chance as a collaborator in his process. This was a game-changer in the visual arts. Until then, Western artists had striven for a skilled level of control. Rather than beginning with a subject (as artists had done for years), Arp generated the form first, and titled his works after they were completed. In this way, he sought to minimize the intervention of the conscious mind.

© 2018. All images are copyrighted © by Jean Arp or assignee. The use of any image from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained.

Mr Jean Arp

Jean Arp studio

1917, collage arranged according to the laws of chance

1919, 391, No. 8, Zurich

1922, Shirt Front and Fork

1932, Sculpture to be Lost in the Forest

1933, Concretion humaine sans coupe

1933, Concretion humaine

1933, Tête et coquille

1934,  Human Concentration

1938, Growth

1941, Mediterranean Group

1949, NEW YORK I

1949, Pagoda Fruit

1950, evocation of a form human lunar

1950, Pistil

1951, Sexy Modern Bronze Sculpture

1953, Cloud Shepherd

1953, Ptolemy I

1953, Ptolemy

1953, Wolkenherder

1954, Ganymède

1956, l'étoile

1957, Fleur dansante

1958, Homme Vu Par Une Fleur

1958, Homme Vu Par Une Fleur II

1959, Orse de muse

1959, Resting Leaf (Feuille se reposant)

1959, Torse des Pyrénées

1960, Araignée

1960, Déméter

1960, Figure mythique

1960, Gueule de fleur

1960, Proprietaire du Tonneau de Heidelberg

1960, Reve d'emphore

1960, Stone sculpture

1960, Untitled

1960-63, Classic Sculpture

1961, Coryphée II

1961, Coryphée

1961, Entité ailée

1961, Sculpture Colonne

1961, Torso with Buds

1963, Torse - vase

1964, Femme Agenouillée

1965, Idol of the Rabbits

1965, in the manner of Jean Arp

1965, plaster sculpture painted in pale red

1965, Poupée-Basset

1965, Tête de heaume

1965, Tête de heaume

1967, Scrutant l'horizon

2017, Installation view of Jean Arp: The Poetry of Forms

Figure of a Bird