Arman (FR)

1928 Nice, France
2005 New York, USA

Arman was a member of Nouveau Réalisme, the famous French avant-garde movement (1960 – 1963). The protagonists of this heterogeneous group were united in a new approach to the perception of reality, meant to balance humanistic ideals with industrial expansion. The artistic language contained various forms of collected fragments of reality, the best known being accumulations, assemblages and collages, and packaging and compressions. At the end of the 1950s he began to develop his most recognisable style in Accumulation and Poubelle. Accumulations were collections of common and identical objects which he arranged in polyester castings or within Plexiglas cases. He created varied accumulations, using the most diverse objects and materials, with polyester, cutting, welding, singeing and casting in concrete and synthetic marble. In the 1970s he began to work with destructed musical instruments embedded in concrete or cast in bronze. One of the exhibitions showing his Arman with Orchestra (1983) indicates a new aesthetic in his concept. Arman often used classical motifs and destructed and accumulated them into an art object. In his sculpture – object Hermes and Dionysus from the series Gods and Goddesses he engaged in polemics with traditional form and the classical ideal of beauty. He cut the sculpture into several parts, opened up its interior and integrated it with the surrounding space.