b. 1886, Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine; d. 1966, Basel
In 1916, Hugo Ball opened the Cabaret Voltaire, which was to become the center of Dada [more] activities in Zurich for a group that included Arp, Marcel Janco, Tristan Tzara, and others. Arp continued his involvement with Dada after moving to Cologne in 1919. In 1922, he participated in the Kongress der Konstruktivisten in Weimar and the Exposition Internationale Dada at Galerie Montaigne in Paris. Soon thereafter, he began contributing to magazines such as Merz, Mécano, De Stijl [more], and later to La Révolution surréaliste. Arp’s work appeared in the first exhibition of the Surrealist group at the Galerie Pierre, Paris, in 1925. In 1926, he settled in Meudon, France.
In 1931, Arp was associated with the Paris-based group Abstraction-Création
and the periodical Transition. Throughout the 1930s and until
the end of his life, he continued to write and publish poetry
and essays. In 1942, he fled Meudon for Zurich; he was to make
Meudon his primary residence again in 1946. The artist visited
New York in 1949 on the occasion of his solo show at Curt Valentin’s
Buchholz Gallery. In 1950, he was invited to execute a relief
for the Harvard Graduate Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 1954, Arp received the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice
Biennale. A retrospective of his work was held at the Museum
of Modern Art, New York, in 1958, followed by another at the
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, in 1962. Arp
died June 7, 1966, in Basel.