Jean Arp (Strasbourg, France September 16 1886 - Basel, Switzerland June 7 1966)


Jean Arp (German – French 1886 – 1966) was a painter, poet and sculptor who was a founding member of the Dadaist movement before turning to Abstract Art. His sculptures—both his rounded biomorphic forms and reliefs are known for their playfully ambiguous organic forms inspired by nature. Apparat d’une danse is one of his later works, where the almost two dimensionality of his wooden bas-relief works of the 1960s make a reappearance, albeit on a much grander scale. This work was included in the Festival de Mondi’s summer 1962 open-air exhibition “Sculture nella Città" (Sculptures in the City) was organized by Giovanni Caranda. The exhibition included works by Arp, Alexander Calder, Lynn Chadwick, Henry Moore, and David Smith amongst others. As renowned critic David Sylvester noted in his review of the exhibition, open-air sculpture exhibitions were then in vogue, and yet “Sculture nella Città" offered something different by setting the sculpture within the lived space of city centre and “integrating new shapes into old settings”. “Sculture nella Città" emphasized the architectural past with the contemporary art of the present, making the exhibition one of the significant and experimental sculpture exhibitions of the twentieth century.

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Alternate Text
Apparat d'une danse, 1961