January 10 - March 1, 2014
Curated by Julian Heynen, this exhibition examines the relationship between form and chance in a selection of Hans Arp's important but rarely seen sculptures from 1947 to 1965. In an unusual approach, Heynen positions Arp's work alongside Passstücke (Adaptives) by Franz West, examining the shared creative principle of the two artists. A selection of Arp's poetry will be installed on the walls and broadcast throughout the gallery.
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Hans Arp is a familiar figure of classical Modernism and was a key contributor in the development of Dada and Surrealism in the early twentieth century. Focusing his attention on everyday objects, Arp created his own unique ‘object language’ using a nonsensical vocabulary: plate, fork, knife, clock, tie, moustache, lips, breasts. With a playful hand he juggled the dominant art currents of the early twentieth century, combining seemingly contradictory geometric and organic formal idioms with the artistic ‘-isms’ of his epoch.Turning his back on the increasingly modernized turn-of-the-century society, Arp created biomorphic works whose organic, amoeboid forms highlighted his fascination with the physiological processes of procreation, growth and death, and counteracted the rectilinear structures of Cubism. Arp studied the mineral, vegetable, and animal worlds for inspiration, documenting the evolution of an imaginary world. Combined with his late bronze sculptures from the 1950s, these works sought to give form to natural forces—clotting, hardening, congealing and fusing—all of which were symbols of eternal cycles in nature for Arp.