Jean (Hans) Arp, 1887-1966

Aux Nourritures Terrestres. 1943/1950

Circa 1943

Original lithograph in tones of black over a cream tint background. 1943-1950. Signed in pencil. Unique first proof printed on a hand proofing-press Grasse c. 1943, and still with the cut register-marks. No edition at this date. (see below). The only known signed impression. Drawn for the series ‘Aux Nourritures Terrestre’ c.1943 in conjunction with the sculptor and painter Sophie Taeuber Arp, his wife.

Ref: Arntz: Arp Das Graphische Werk no 321.
Provenance: Private French Collection, Paris; purchased in the 1950’s.
Note: The issued edition was printed at the Atelier Desjobert, Paris 1950. Issued in the series: ‘Aux Nourritures Terrestres. Paris 1950.

Superb proof impression with very strong tonality. On cream wove paper. Excellent condition. Full margins. Sheet:  348 x 268mm. Image: 265 x 208mm.


Note: In 1941 Arp and his wife Sophie Taueber-Arp moved from Paris to Grasse in Southern France to escape the war. In the artist’s colony in Grasse they met up with Sonia Delaunay and Alberto Magnelli. Inspired by Arp’s enthusiasm they decided to make a series of lithographs all together, Arp  working together with one of the other artists to create imagery of a ‘combined inspiration’ – as they called it. Arp drew this work together with Sophie Taueber-Arp.

At the time no edition was printed, but in 1950 all the series of 10 compositions were issued in an edtion of 150 impressions (plus 15 proofs) in the album ‘Aux Nourritures Terrestres’ which Arp had conceived  some 7 years earlier. The issued edition is all unsigned.

This is the first proof for no 5 in the series, still with the  ‘registration marks’ in the corners, printed on a proofing press in the 1940’s when it was drawn by Arp and Sophie Taueber Arp in Grasse during the War. It is unique in this form , and a very rare example of Arp’s exciting  graphic creativity during the War years using cut-out forms, linear constructivism and frottage textures.


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