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Jean Arp

Jean Arp

(1887 - 1966)
Born: Strasbourg, France
Style: Dadaism
Famous Works:
  • Birds in Aquarium (1920)
  • Leaves and Navels I (1930)
  • Cloud Shepherd (1953)
Jean Arp began his training in art at the Strasbourg School of Arts and Crafts. Arp was heavily involved in many artistic and political movements throughout the beginning of the twentieth century, including the Dada movement in Zurich, and the Surrealist movement in Paris. The Dadaists heavily influenced Arp as a younger artist in 1915, a time in which he had also recently befriended Robert and Sonia Delaunay and Wassily Kandinsky. He participated in the Dada revolution by attending many events. In particular, Arp attended "happenings" that the Dadaists held at the Cabaret Voltaire. During this time, Arp made cut-out compositions of paper, characterized by arrangements of chance. Arp also began making abstract wood reliefs in varied colors for the first time. Beginning in 1920 Arp lived near Paris, where he met and eventually joined the Surrealists in 1925. Several years later he began to make what would become his trademark sculpture, free-flowing organic shapes and forms. Arp usually realized these pieces in bronze and marble. While they were organic, Arp never attempted to reproduce specific forms from the plant or animal world. Instead he relied on finding the shape through the time spent in the studio, intuiting the final form. Arp was a dedicated and powerful creative force, creating in his lifetime not only paintings and sculpture, but also bilingual poetry. In 1954 Jean Arp was awarded the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale.
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