Jean Arp (Hans Arp) Biography

© 2006 Jean Arp (Hans Arp) / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Jean Arp (Hans Arp) (French, born Germany [Alsace], 1886-1966) Untitled (Forest). ca. 1917 Painted wood relief 12 7/8 x 7 3/4 x 3" (32.7 x 19.7 x 7.6 cm) National Gallery of Art, Washington, Andrew W. Mellon Fund. © 2006 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, photo: Lorene Emerson

The Basics:

Jean Arp (also known as Hans Arp) was a German-born French sculptor, painter, collagist, printmaker and poet. Born in September 16, 1886, he studied at Kunstschule in Weimar and the Académie Julian in Paris. Arp was best known as a founding member of the Dada movement in Zurich. He was also a member of the surrealist group starting in 1925 and later founded the Abstraction-Création style.

His Art:

Jean Arp certainly had a lively intelligence. Over the course of his artistic career, he worked with the many different styles of art -- from the Abstract pioneers to Dada to Surrealism to Abstraction-Création. He is even credited with inventing biomorphic sculpture.

All of these movements and his playful, amoeba-like forms had a huge impact on art, particularly in the Performance movement. He also worked in collage and printmaking, and practiced "automatic" (free-conscious) writing.

Arp died on June 7, 1966 in Basel, Switzerland.

Important Works:

  • Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance, 1916-17
  • Mountain Table Anchors Navel, 1925
  • Configuration, 1933
  • Torso, 1953

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