Jean (Hans) Arp, 1887-1966

Variables Bild – Variable Picture (3 x 7 = 21 Forms).


Multiple using paper, wood and Plexiglas. 1964. Signed in ink and numbered from the edition of 100 on the original label on the reverse, as issued. In the original presentation form. (See note below regarding the unique arrangement of each example in the edition). Issued by Edition MAT Cologne (Daniel Spoeri) and Galerie der Spiegel in the series Collection 64. (See notes below).


Superb extremely well-preserved example with the elements and the presentation ‘frame’ in excellent condition. Overall size: 398 x 400mm. (45mm deep)

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Arp created this ground-breaking work as a part of a series conceived in 1959 by Spoeri to illustrate the concept of ‘variable art’ – ie artworks made up from the same elements but each example in the edition having the elements arranged/grouped differently.  This examined the idea that a work of art is not only made up of its imagery but also by the way that imagery, or its parts, are arranged. The overall series was under the title ‘MAT’ – Multiplication d’Art Transformable.


Each of the works in this edition by Arp uses the same elements – including the white forms – arranged individually (3 x 7 = 21 Forms – see the title). Each work in the edition is thus unique visually.


Other artists who worked with Spoeri and Galerie der Spiegel on this series of highly innovative works, which in its investigation of the abstract depiction of visual space is linked to the whole range of ‘optical’ (OP) creativity in the early 1960’s, were Lichtenstein, Arman, Tinguely, Le Parc, Man Ray and Soto, for example.


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