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Sans titre

Ref. KW477

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Year 1956

Category Painting

Technic Oil on wood

Height x Width (cm) 43 x 75

Signature Signed lower left

Geographical zone Europa

Certificate ARMAN, daté du 27 juillet 1987.

Signed 'Armand' (before 1958). read more >>

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Armand Fernandez, the only child of Antonio Fernandez and Marguerite Jacquet, was born on November 17, 1928 in Nice. He began painting as early as age 10 and alongside his father, who was an amateur artist. In 1946, he joined the École des Arts Décoratifs in Nice, leaving two years later in 1948. Arman began to sell paintings in his father’s antique shop. With his friends Yves Klein and Claude Pascal, whom he met in a judo school in Nice, he decided to abandon his surname. With this practice he also acknowledged Van Gogh, who signed his canvases with his first name. A misprint on an exhibition catalogue cover pushed him thereafter to abandon the ‘d’ at the end of ‘Armand’. Passionate about archaeology and oriental art, he enrolled at the École du Louvre in 1949 to become an auctioneer. From the beginning of the 1950s, after stopping his studies in 1951, he developed an interest in abstract painting and started accompanying his friend Yves Klein to his ‘happenings’. Influenced by Kurt Schwitters and Jackson Pollock, Arman began to work on stamp prints which he exhibited in Paris in 1956. From 1959, he focused his efforts on his well-known accumulations of objects. The following year in autumn of 1960, he installed an exhibition at Iris Clert’s gallery called ‘Le Plein’ (‘Full Up’; a nod to Yves Klein’s ‘Le Vide’ organised two years earlier), which filled the gallery with garbage such that it could only be viewed through the window. His work has also been shown in Milan and Dusseldorf.
In the same year he became one of the proponents of Nouveau Réalisme. With the help of art critic Pierre Restany, Arman signed a manifesto with Klein, Raysse, Hains, Spoerri, Tinguely and Villeglé. In 1961, he was presented to New York in the exhibition ‘The Art of Assemblage’. From then on he lived between New York and France. His work took new forms as he began to assemble objects by welding them together in large compositions. His work was exhibited around the world, from Los Angeles to Gstaad, Brussels, and Milan. He received the Prix Marzotto in Venice in 1966. In the end of the 1960s, Arman began a collaboration with the automobile manufacturer Renault, which gave birth to his ‘Accumulations Renault’. In 1972, Arman was included in the exhibition ‘Douze ans d’art Contemporain 1960-1972’ at the Grand Palais in Paris. He participated in Documenta in Kassel, the Biennale in Venice, and saw retrospective exhibitions of his oeuvre organised throughout the world. His work continued to evolve and from the 1980s he began to produce relief murals of tools and utensils. So too was he interested in painting and in bronze. Several of his works were created for institutions, following the model of ‘À La République/Hommage À La Révolution de 1789’ for the Élysée Palace. He has, in addition, realised monumental sculptures in public spaces. He died October 22, 2005 in New York.

(Pauline Le Gall)

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Private collection, Europe. read more >>

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Arman Sans titre, 1956 painting