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Hans Arp

Julian Heynen

116 pages
Distanz Verlag Gmbh Llc
An Investigation on Hans Arp and Franz West. Hans Arp (b. Strasbourg, 1886; d. Basel, 1966) is a familiar figure of classical modernism and was a key contributor to the development of Dada and Surrealism in the early twentieth century, yet it was during the decades that followed that he articulated the forms to which he would persistently return. Although his later practice is often overlooked, he continued to produce sculpture and poetry in the tradition of Dada until his death. This publication examines the relationship between form and chance in a selection of twenty sculptures from Arp’s later period (1947–1965), cast in the artist’s preferred materials of bronze, marble, and aluminum. The sculptures are broadly figurative and demonstrate a loose continuation of classical traditions, depicting curved organoid shapes that originate from an observation of nature combined with an element of fantasy. His creative process was guided by intuition and informed by chance; burgeoning, abstract forms encounter complex, introverted figures, revealing a unique visual vocabulary with roots in biomorphism. In an unusual approach, Arp’s works are shown alongside "Passstücke" (Adaptives) by Franz West in an examination of the two artists’ shared creative principle. Arp’s poetry, an integral part of his practice, is given equal importance in the book, which contains forty of his poems that illustrate how his material and linguistic forms interpenetrate and complement each other. Concept and text by Julian Heynen.