Armand Pier Fernandez, commonly known as Arman, is a successful artist whose artistic career has developed from painting to sculpture. At the beginning, Arman painted works on canvas using an abstract technique.
Later on, the artist devoted himself to the creation of accumulations of disused objects such as shoes, watches and tubes of tempera, giving a definitive turn to his artistic career.
The artworks of Arman, such as the Accumulations, are a result of the artistic evolution of a sculptor who, over the years, underwent a profound transformation process that contributed to the formation of Nouveau Réalisme.
Arman: the artist’s Early Life and Career
Arman was a French-born American artist who rose to fame in the second half of the 20th century. He is best known for his sculptures and installations made from everyday objects, such as musical instruments, clocks, tools, and furniture. Arman’s art challenged the conventional notions of beauty, value, and function, and explored themes such as consumerism, waste, and destruction.
Arman was born in Nice in 1928 as Armand Pierre Fernandez. He showed an early interest in painting and drawing, and studied at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice and the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. He initially painted abstract works on canvas, influenced by Nicolas de Staël and Jackson Pollock. He also experimented with stamps, prints, and graffiti, using objects to create marks and traces on the surface.
In the late 1950s, Arman began to create his signature works: accumulations of identical or similar objects, such as shoes, watches, tubes of paint, or bottles. He collected these objects from flea markets, junkyards, or his own studio, and arranged them in boxes, cases, or Plexiglas containers. He wanted to show the abundance and diversity of mass-produced goods, and to question their meaning and function in modern society.
Arman also created works that involved cutting, breaking, burning, or smashing objects, such as musical instruments, furniture, cars, or statues. He called these works “coupes”, “colères”, “combustions”, or “compressions”. He was fascinated by the aesthetic and symbolic effects of violence and destruction, and by the transformation of matter and form.
One of Arman’s most recurring subjects was the violin. He used violins and other string instruments in various ways: he accumulated them, cut them, burned them, or coated them with gold. He saw the violin as a symbol of culture, tradition, and harmony, but also as a material object that could be manipulated and altered.
Arman died in New York in 2005, leaving behind a rich and diverse body of work that spans over five decades. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and innovative artists of his time, and as a pioneer of the Nouveau Réalisme movement. He was also associated with Pop Art, Dada, and Fluxus, and collaborated with artists such as Yves Klein, Raymond Hains, Jacques Villeglé, Jean Tinguely, and François Dufrêne.
Arman’s Abstract Paintings
Arman was member of the Nouveau Réalisme group, which sought to challenge the traditional notions of art and aesthetics by incorporating elements of reality into their works. Arman’s abstract paintings often featured objects such as brushes, tubes of paint, or musical instruments that he either arranged, sliced, or burned on the canvas. He called these works “allures d’objet” or “object traces”, as they captured the imprint or essence of the objects.
He also experimented with different techniques such as dripping, splashing, or spraying paint on the canvas, creating dynamic and colorful compositions.
Arman’s abstract paintings reflected his interest in the material culture of modern society, as well as his fascination with the effects of time, decay, and destruction on objects. He wanted to show the beauty and value of ordinary things that are usually overlooked or discarded.
Arman was not only an individual artist, but also a member of a collective movement called Nouveau Réalisme, or New Realism, which was founded in 1960 by the critic Pierre Restany and a group of French artists. Nouveau Réalisme aimed to challenge the traditional notions of art and aesthetics by incorporating elements of reality into their works, such as found objects, everyday items, urban folklore, and mass media. Nouveau Réalisme was influenced by Dada, Surrealism, and Pop Art, but also developed its own distinctive methods and techniques, such as accumulation, compression, assemblage, and décollage. Some of the other prominent artists of Nouveau Réalisme were Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle, Daniel Spoerri, and Mimmo Rotella. The movement had a short but intense life, with several exhibitions and festivals in France and abroad, until it dissolved in 1970.
Arman’s Stamps and Prints
He often used stamps as a way of reproducing images or texts, sometimes in large quantities or overlapping layers. He also used stamps as a medium for expressing his political or social views, such as his series of portraits of Lenin or his anti-war messages.
Arman’s prints were also diverse and innovative, as he experimented with different methods such as lithography, etching, screen printing, or embossing. He often incorporated objects or materials into his prints, such as paint tubes, brushes, or musical instruments. He also used prints as a way of documenting his sculptures or performances, such as his Colères (1960-1961), where he smashed objects and then printed their fragments on paper.
Arman’s stamps and prints showed his interest in exploring the possibilities of reproduction, variation, and transformation of images and objects. He also used them as a means of communication and expression, conveying his artistic vision and his engagement with the world.
Arman’s sculptures often featured objects such as musical instruments, clocks, tools, or car parts that he either accumulated, sliced, compressed, or burned. He called these works “accumulations”, “coupes”, “colères”, or “combustions”, depending on the technique he used.
For example, in his Accumulations series, he filled transparent containers with identical or similar objects, creating a visual effect of repetition and abundance.
In his Coupes series, he cut objects into pieces and arranged them on flat surfaces or in boxes, revealing their inner structures and textures.
In his Colères series, he smashed objects such as violins, radios, or telephones, and then glued their fragments on canvas or wood, expressing his anger and frustration with the modern world.
In his Combustions series, he burned objects such as furniture, clothes, or books, and then preserved their ashes or charred remains, evoking the themes of death and destruction.
He also created monumental public sculptures, such as Long Term Parking (1982), a 60-foot-high tower of cars in Jouy-en-Josas, France, or Hope for Peace (1995), a 32-meter-high stack of tanks in Beirut, Lebanon. These sculptures were meant to comment on the environmental and social issues of his time, such as pollution, consumerism, and war. Arman’s sculptures reflected his interest in the material culture of modern society, as well as his fascination with the effects of time, decay, and destruction on objects. He wanted to show the beauty and value of ordinary things that are usually overlooked or discarded. He once said, "I work with objects for what they are and for what they are worth. What they are: form, color, material.
Arman’s Sources and Materials
Arman’s artistic repertoire was marked by an array of diverse sources and materials that mirrored his keen interest in themes encompassing consumerism, waste, recycling, music, and sports. Among the materials he incorporated into his creations, rubber stamps played a significant role. Commencing in 1955, Arman crafted compositions featuring repeated images and patterns with rubber stamps, which he termed "Cachets." Drawing inspiration from Marcel Duchamp’s readymades and Kurt Schwitters’s Dada collages, Arman introduced a novel approach to artistic reproduction and quantity in art.
Another unconventional medium embraced by Arman was garbage. In 1959, he initiated the collection of discarded materials to fashion sculptures and installations dubbed "Poubelles," translating to "trash cans" in French. His fascination with the aesthetic and symbolic potential of discarded objects motivated him to comment on the environmental and social repercussions of overconsumption and waste. Notably, the renowned work "Le Plein" (1960) featured an entire gallery filled with garbage, exemplifying Arman's commitment to addressing these concerns.
Arman's innovation continued with his development of the accumulation technique in 1960. This involved assembling multiples of identical objects into new sculptural forms. From toothbrushes to clocks, tools, utensils, musical instruments, fossils, and sneakers, Arman sourced items from dumps, thrift shops, and garbage bins. Employing techniques such as welding and encasement in materials like polyester, plexiglass, or concrete, he explored the visual and conceptual impact of accumulation, fragmentation, and transformation of objects.
Beyond the purely artistic realm, Arman's sources and materials bore political and philosophical dimensions. He challenged conventional notions of art and sculpture, interrogating the intricate relationship between humans and objects, culture and nature, creation and destruction.
Simultaneously, he celebrated the beauty and diversity of everyday life, infusing his works with a profound passion for music and sports. Regarded as a pioneer of assemblage art, Arman's influence reverberated through subsequent generations of artists who were inspired by his groundbreaking approach.
Arman: Long-Term Parking
Arman's Long-Term Parking, created in 1982, stands as a testament to his innovative approach to art and sculpture. Located at the Château de Montcel in Jouy-en-Josas, France, this impressive sculpture reaches a height of 60 feet (18 meters), symbolizing a fusion of industrial modernity and artistic expression.
Comprising sixty mostly French cars, meticulously set in 40,000 pounds (18,000 kg) of concrete, Long-Term Parking is a quintessential example of Arman's unique style of integrating everyday objects into large-scale art installations, marking him as a pioneer in the realm of contemporary sculpture. The sculpture's sheer scale and the unconventional use of cars encapsulated in concrete reflect Arman's fascination with the concept of accumulation, a recurring theme in his work. Long-Term Parking stands as a bold juxtaposition against the Parisian suburban landscape, inviting viewers to contemplate the relationship between modern industrial elements and the permanence of art.
Arman’s Coupes, Colères, Combustions, and Compressions
Arman, a pioneering artist, pushed the boundaries of traditional artistic norms by engaging in innovative experiments that involved the destruction and transformation of various objects. Through techniques such as cutting, burning, smashing, and melting, he sought to unveil the concealed beauty within everyday items and explore the inner structures that define them. His diverse body of work includes several notable series, each with a distinct thematic focus.
One of Arman's prominent series, titled Coupes, involved meticulously cutting objects such as sculptures, paintings, and musical instruments into fragments, presenting them as standalone artworks. This process aimed not only to expose the inner essence of the objects but also to generate novel forms and compositions from the resulting pieces.
In his Colères series, Arman channeled his emotions by destroying objects through acts of smashing, cutting, or burning. The remnants or ashes were then showcased as artworks, reflecting his frustration with the pervasive influence of material possessions over human existence. This series delved into themes of violence and destruction, serving as a commentary on the turbulent nature of the contemporary world.
Arman's Combustions series witnessed the artist burning objects such as books, clothes, or toys, encapsulating the remaining fragments in resin or glass containers. Through this process, he sought to underscore the transient and perishable nature of objects while exploring the transformative power of fire on matter and energy.
In the Compressions series, Arman took on the challenge of compressing objects like cars, bicycles, or cans using hydraulic presses or crushers. This unconventional approach aimed to alter the volume, shape, and texture of the objects, creating new and intriguing patterns from the compressed materials.
Arman's body of work collectively challenged conventional notions of art and aesthetics, as well as the values embedded in consumer society. By using objects as both symbols and metaphors for the human condition, he elevated them beyond their utilitarian roles and transformed them into vehicles for profound artistic expression. In doing so, Arman left an indelible mark on the art world, prompting viewers to reconsider the significance and meanings inherent in the everyday objects that surround them.
Arman’s Variations and Treatments
This series served as a testament to Arman's relentless experimentation and his belief in the inherent artistic potential residing within the most mundane of objects.
Variations and Treatments became a platform for Arman to showcase his ingenuity in altering the physical form and essence of objects. Through meticulous variations and creative treatments, he sought to extract new meanings and perspectives from the ordinary, inviting viewers to witness the metamorphosis of familiar items into thought-provoking works of art.
The series encapsulated Arman's commitment to the ethos of Nouveau Réalisme, a movement that sought to bridge the gap between art and life by incorporating everyday objects and materials into artistic expression. In doing so, Arman not only challenged traditional notions of art and aesthetics but also prompted contemplation on the nature of consumption, mass production, and the evolving role of objects in contemporary society.
As with many of Arman's series, "Variations and Treatments" showcased his masterful use of materials, inviting viewers to reconsider their preconceptions and appreciate the potential beauty and significance embedded within the ordinary and overlooked. Whether through the juxtaposition of varied elements or the transformative effects of his treatments, Arman's works in this series remained a testament to his enduring creativity and his ability to redefine artistic possibilities.
Arman's legacy, as exemplified by "Variations and Treatments," continues to resonate in the art world, inspiring future generations to embrace experimentation and view the commonplace with fresh eyes. Through this series, Arman demonstrated that the artistic journey is not confined to traditional mediums but extends into the realm of limitless exploration and reinterpretation.
Arman’s Interpretations and Associations
Arman's Interpretations and Associations emerge as a sculpture series originating from the late 1980s and early 1990s, wherein the artist employed musical instruments, tools, weapons, and various objects as the raw materials for his creative endeavors. Engaging in an intricate process, Arman cut, sliced, or smashed these objects, subsequently reassembling them in novel configurations to forge new forms and meanings. This series encapsulates Arman's profound fascination with unraveling the relationships between objects, their utilitarian functions, and the symbolic values they carry.
At the heart of Interpretations and Association" lies Arman's desire to challenge viewer perceptions and expectations by presenting familiar objects in unfamiliar, often disconcerting ways. This series can be seen as an fevolution rom his earlier works, such as Accumulations and Coleres, showcasing a more intricate and expressive approach. Notable pieces within this collection include "Violin Interpretation," "Tool Interpretation," and "Weapon Interpretation," which underscore Arman's commitment to innovation and originality.
Beyond mere aesthetic experimentation, Arman's Interpretations and Associations assume the role of political statements. Through the utilization of musical instruments, tools, and weapons, he taps into profound themes of culture, labor, and violence, interweaving them with the fabric of human history. Arman provocatively questions the value and meaning attached to these objects, pondering whether they symbolize power, creativity, or destruction.
In this series, Arman compels viewers to reevaluate their relationship with the objects that surround them, prompting reflection on the social and ethical implications inherent in the production and consumption of these items. The sculptures beckon individuals to confront the complexities of their choices and the broader implications of societal values. Interpretations and Associations thus serve as a testament to Arman's artistic vision, seamlessly blending formal innovation, conceptual depth, and social critique to create works that transcend the boundaries of conventional artistic expression. Displayed in museums and galleries globally, these creations remain exemplary manifestations of Arman's enduring impact on the art world.
Arman’s Effects and Symbolism
Arman's artistic endeavors were marked not only by his innovative techniques of destroying and transforming objects but also by the profound effects and symbolism embedded within his work. His creations went beyond the physical alteration of materials, transcending into a realm where objects became powerful symbols, laden with deeper meanings.
The effects of Arman's work were multi-faceted. On a fundamental level, his destructive and transformative processes challenged established norms in the art world, pushing the boundaries of traditional artistic expression. By cutting, burning, smashing, and compressing objects, he forced viewers to confront the impermanence of material existence and question preconceived notions of beauty and utility.
Symbolism played a pivotal role in Arman's artistry. Through series like "Coupes," where objects were dissected to reveal their hidden structures, he symbolically exposed the inner essence of things. This act of unveiling symbolized a quest for truth and authenticity, encouraging viewers to look beyond surface appearances and explore the deeper layers of meaning inherent in everyday items.
In the "Colères" series, the destruction of objects symbolized Arman's visceral response to the dominance of materialism in human life. The shattered remnants and ashes served as metaphors for the violence and chaos prevalent in society, providing a visual commentary on the challenges and frustrations of contemporary existence.
"Combustions" carried symbolic weight as Arman burned objects and encapsulated the remains. This process symbolized the ephemeral nature of existence, emphasizing the transformative power of fire as a metaphor for change, renewal, and the cyclical nature of life and death.
The "Compressions" series, with its hydraulic presses and crushed materials, symbolized a desire to reshape and redefine the physical world. The compression of objects not only altered their form but also served as a metaphor for societal pressures and constraints, prompting contemplation on the malleability of structures and the potential for reinvention.
Arman's effects and symbolism extended beyond the confines of the art world, challenging viewers to reassess their relationships with the material world. His oeuvre prompted contemplation on consumerism, societal values, and the transient nature of existence. By transforming objects into potent symbols, Arman invited audiences to engage with his work on a deeper, more introspective level, fostering a dialogue about the inherent meanings embedded in the everyday items that surround us.
Arman's Violins stand as a notable series of sculptures Renowned for his innovative approach, Arman utilized violins and other musical instruments as his primary raw materials, employing methods such as cutting, breaking, and assembling to redefine their essence. The artist frequently adorned his creations with a golden patina, imparting a sense of opulence and sophistication to the sculptures.
These Violins epitomize Arman's fascination with metamorphosing ordinary objects into profound artistic expressions, reflecting both his passion for music and his penchant for collecting. Among the series' standout pieces are Accumulation - 100 Violons, Violins and Guitar Bronzes, and Violins. Celebrated for their compelling and characteristic nature, Arman's Violins have graced numerous museums and galleries globally, solidifying their status as some of his most captivating creations.
Violins and other musical instruments emerged as Arman's favored subjects, embodying his dual fascination with music and his critique of mass production and consumption. His innovative techniques, encompassing cutting, burning, smashing, and accumulation, showcased a dynamic exploration of form and meaning. In addition to Violins, Arman ventured into creating large-scale public sculptures utilizing unconventional materials such as cars, bicycles, and clocks.
Arman’s Legacy and Influence
Arman reshaped the art landscape through his groundbreaking Assemblage art. Best known for his sculptures fashioned from everyday objects, ranging from musical instruments to tools and discarded items, Arman's work delved into themes of mass production, consumption, waste, and destruction. His innovative techniques, such as repetition, accumulation, and fragmentation, imbued these objects with new forms and profound meanings. Arman's artistic repertoire extended beyond sculptures to encompass public monuments, prints, paintings, and installations.
One of Arman's notable large-scale public sculptures is Long-Term Parking, a towering 60-foot structure comprised of 60 cars embedded in concrete. This monumental piece stands proudly in the open-air museum of Domaine de Kerguéhennec in France. Additionally, he created Hope for Peace, a 32-meter-high monument featuring 83 tanks. Commissioned by the Lebanese government, this impactful creation was unveiled in Beirut in 1995.
Beyond his artistic endeavors, Arman was a dedicated collector of African art, amassing a diverse array of masks, statues, weapons, and jewelry from various regions and cultures. His fervent passion for African art manifested in the donation of part of his extensive collection to the Museum of African Art in New York, where his wife Corice Canton Arman serves as a board member. Intriguingly, Arman seamlessly integrated some of these African objects into his own sculptures, fostering a captivating dialogue between different artistic traditions.
Arman's influence extended far beyond his immediate artistic circle. His fearless exploration of materials, themes, and societal issues resonated with subsequent generations of artists, including visionaries like Robert Rauschenberg, Damien Hirst, and Ai Weiwei. In addition to leaving an indelible mark on the trajectory of contemporary art, Arman's commitment to cultural dialogue and preservation is evident in his contributions to the development of African art and his lasting impact on the Museum of African Art in New York.
Arman’s Exhibitions and Collections
Arman, a prolific and internationally acclaimed artist, left an indelible mark on the art world with numerous exhibitions and collections spanning the globe. In 1960, he inaugurated his solo exhibition at the Iris Clert Gallery in Paris, transforming the entire space with an installation titled Full Up. The following year, Arman joined the inaugural exhibition of the Nouveau Réalisme group at Galerie J in Paris, alongside luminaries like Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, and Daniel Spoerri.
A significant milestone in his career occurred in 1964 with his first retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, a showcase that later traveled to various European museums. In 1974, Arman made a significant move to New York, where he established his studio and continued producing sculptures, paintings, and prints. In 1986, he represented France at the Venice Biennale, unveiling the monumental sculpture Long-Term Parking, a towering 60-foot structure comprised of 60 cars embedded in concrete.
In 1995, Arman's creative endeavors took a symbolic turn as he unveiled the public monument Hope for Peace in Beirut, Lebanon. This poignant piece, a stack of 83 tanks standing at 32 meters high, served as a powerful symbol of reconciliation and peace. Tragically, in 2005, Arman passed away in New York, leaving behind a diverse and rich artistic legacy.
In 2010, Arman's legacy was further solidified by the retrospective made at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and Museum Tinguely in Basel, Switzerland. His works continue to be a source of inspiration and admiration, enriching public collections across the United States, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Arman's artistic vision and his contributions to the Nouveau Réalisme movement have left an indelible mark, ensuring his place as a pivotal figure in modern and contemporary art.
In the illustrious auction history of Arman's works, Attila (1964) stands out as a crowning achievement, showcasing Arman's unique style in a combination of destruction and preservation. Measuring 60.4 x 40.7 x 5.9 in., Attila is a compelling embodiment of Arman's exploration of the relationship between musical instruments and visual art, a theme recurrent in many of his works.
Attila achieved a sale price of 558,277 USD, surpassing its estimated value. This sale not only highlights the enduring appeal of Arman's work among collectors and art enthusiasts, but also cements his status as a major figure in the art world. The sale of Attila at such a significant price point reflects the deep appreciation for Arman's approach to art and his ability to transform everyday objects into artistic expressions.
In 2019, the Musée de Vence in France hosted a new exhibition, Arman: New State of Things, showcasing his sculptures, paintings, and prints from the 1950s to the 2000s, along with his personal collection of African art. These exhibitions and collections stand as testaments to the enduring impact of Arman's innovative and diverse artistic contributions.
ARMAN ORIGINAL ART FOR SALE ONLINE ON DEODATO.US
If you are interested in Arman art for sale, you can find the original artwork online on our website. These artworks are guaranteed to be authentic, provided with a certificate of authenticity.
If you are interested in knowing about the artworks by Arman for sale, the prices, and the market value of the artist, do not hesitate to contact us by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org