Jean Arp

Bourgeon sur coupe, 1960

Estrasburg, 1887 - Basilea, 1966

Jean Arp was a founding member of the Dada group in Zurich in 1916 and the Novembergruppe in 1918. Along with his ties to the Dada movement, in 1925 he participated in the first exhibition of the surrealists at the Galerie Pierre in Paris, along with artists like Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. Arp developed a language that employed biomorphic sculpture where the techniques of automatism and the dream realm were combined, leading to a body of organic and poetical forms that would often question the principle of reality. In 1926 Arp moved to Paris and a few years after, in 1931, he broke with the surrealist movement and founded the artist association Abstraction-Création along with Auguste Herbin, Jean Hélion and Georges Vantongerloo. The association defended non-figurative art based on the autonomy of lines and an understanding of colours as aesthetic values. The piece entitled Bourgeon sur coupe belongs to the final period of the artist’s career, distinguished by institutional recognition at museums like the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, which organised retrospective exhibitions for him in 1958 and 1962 respectively.