DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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Jean ARP | Plastron et fourchette [Shirtfront and fork]
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Jean ARP
Germany 1887 – Switzerland 1966
France 1920-1939
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Plastron et fourchette
[Shirtfront and fork]
c.1922
painted wood
58.0 (h) x 70.6 (w) x 5.9 (d) cm
signed on paper label verso, pencil, "Arp", not dated, later label typed, "1924"
Purchased 1983
NGA 1983.14
© Jean Arp. Licensed by Bild-Kunst & VISCOPY, Australia
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Biography

Hans Peter Wilhelm Arp was born on 16 September 1886 in Strasburg, Alsace, then a part of Germany. Arp spoke German with his father, French with his mother, and the local Alsatian dialect in daily life. He studied at the Strasburg School of Decorative Arts (1900-01), at the Academy of fine Arts at Weimar (1905-07) and at the Académie Julian in Paris (1908). To avoid conscription during the First World War he moved to Zurich in 1915, where he met Sophie Taeuber, whom he married in 1922. Both were founding members of the Dada group in Zurich, which formed around Hugo Ball's Cabaret Voltaire in 1916. Arp's first abstract wood reliefs date from this period. After the war Arp collaborated with the Dada group in Berlin, with Kurt Schwitters in Hanover and with Max Ernst in Cologne. In 1920 he moved to Paris, where he contributed to the 'International Dada Exhibition' at the Montaigne Gallery in 1922, and the first Surrealist exhibition at Galerie Pierre in 1925. In 1926 he began work with Sophie Taeuber and Theo van Doesburg on the redecoration of the Café de l'Aubette in Strasburg, and in 1927 held his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Surréaliste, Paris. In the late 1920s Arp's reliefs had increased in size and by 1930 he had begun to work on sculpture in the round. In 1930 he joined the group Cercle et Carré and I 1931 helped found Abstraction-Création. With the outbreak of war in 1939 Arp began to sign his works Jean Arp and, with the fall of Paris, he again sought refuge in Switzerland. During the war he exhibited his works at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery in New York. He first visited the United States in1949 and was given a large retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1958. In his later years Arp travelled a great deal and received a number of honours and major commissions. He died on 7 June 1966, in Basle.

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