Arp, Jean or Hans, French artist, active in several fields but principally famous as one of the greatest of abstract sculptors. In 1915, in collabo… [Read biography »]
Styles of Jean Arp: Surrealism, Surrealist 20th Century Modern Master
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Jean Arp Biography
Arp, Jean or Hans, French artist, active in several fields but principally famous as one of the greatest of abstract sculptors. In 1915, in collaboration with his future wife Sophie Taeuber, he experimented with collages and cut-paper reliefs, as in Square arranged according to the laws of chance (1916-17, New York, MOMA). He was involved in 1916 in the formation of the original Dada group in Zurich, and turned in the following year from geometric abstract painting to a more formal language which he used in drawings, woodcuts and wooden relief constructions painted in bright colours, such as Navel, shirt and head (1926, Basel, Kunstmuseum). In 1920 he settled in Paris, where he was associated both with Surrealism and with the Abstraction-Creation group. He began to make sculptures in 1930, extending the possibilities of Brancusi's reductive simplifications to create sensual forms, ambiguously evoking human anatomy, stones and fruit, which for him distilled the organic essence of life (Pagoda fruit, 1934, London, Tate). Sir David Piper, The Random House Dictionary of Art and Artists, Random House, NY, 1984.