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Jean (Hans) Arp, Aquatique (Aquatic) (1953)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
"Art no longer represents nature. It has become nature itself. The pretty games of art are done."--Jean Arp, 1955

As both a visual artist and poet, Jean (Hans) Arp was among the initiators of Dada in Z├╝rich in the 1910s. After moving to Paris in 1925, Arp shifted his concentration from relief to the artistic style he would continue for the rest of his life: sculpture "in the round." In this artistic process, Arp extracted specific forms or lines from one work, then created new works in which he could investigate them further. This investigation could take months or even years. Arp felt this lengthy process infused the figures with the flow of his own life, and only after there was nothing left to change did Arp decide what the sculpture resembled and name it. While the title of this sensuous abstraction, Aquatique, suggests marine animals or sea life, the work's shape also evokes plant forms and the human figure. According to Arp, "In one form or another, my sculptures are always torsos."

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Type: Commentary, object label
Source: Label text for Jean (Hans) Arp, Aquatique (Aquatic) (1953), from the exhibition Selections from the Permanent Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, December 8, 1996 to April 4, 1999.
Rights: Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009