Jean (Hans) Arp
Jean (Hans) Arp, 1887-1966
Composition with Five Forms. 1964/5.
Original lithograph in colours - grey, blue and black on an ochre- yellow background. 1964. Signed in pencil. From the issued edition of 150 impressions. Issued by the Galerie d’Art Moderne, Basel 1965.
Ref: Arntz - Arp Das Graphische Werk no 358.
Excellent very fresh impression on cream wove BFK paper overprinted to the sheet-edge with the ochre-yellow background. Full sheet: 500 x 350mm.
Arp was one of the most prominent European sculptors whose work developed out of the ‘Dada’ anti-art movement. He was born in Alsace and thus had German nationality but his emotional and aesthetic allegiance was to France. It was this division which led him to him using both the French ‘Jean’ and the German ‘Hans’ as his Christian names.
Marcel Duchamp, also one of the Dada founders, later described the Dada aesthetic ‘as a way of discarding a fixed mental attitude and ensuring that we were not influenced either by our immediate environment or by the past – it was a way of escaping from cliché’. Arp was a founder in Zurich in 1915 of European Dada (it also started at the same period in New York). He saw form not as representational but in terms of highly anthropomorphic shapes, expressing emotion through the relationships of flowing, sensual shapes and surfaces.
In the post-war period, working in Paris, he became increasingly interested, alongside his sculpture, in painting and, above all, in prints. He drew this lithograph in 1964 and it was issued to mark what was to prove to be one the last exhibitions of his career in Basel the following year.
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