Arman Pierre Fernandez "ARMAN", French/American
(1929 - 2005)

The French Armand Pierre Fernandez, born in 1928, is one of the most important international object artists and a co-founder and member of the Nouveau Réalisme. He studied at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice from 1946 to 1949 and then continued his studies for two years at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. An acquaintance with Yves Klein led to the idea of organising joint happenings and events, which the two artists realised in 1953. Armand's neo-dadaist 'Cachets' (stamp prints) of 1955, and later the 'Allures' (prints made with objects dipped into paint) and the 'Coupés' (cut-up objects) followed by the 'Colères' (objects which were smashed and then mounted) were still influenced by Kurt Schwitters. When the last letter of his name was accidentally forgotten on a catalogue cover in 1958, he decided to keep this spelling.

In 1957, Arman became interested in common objects as works of art. First he did what came to be called his "allures d"objet" (object impressions) where he would dip an object into paint and press it on canvas; thereby leaving the object's shadow or impression. Then he figured the object itselt was worth paying attention to and he started to "treat" them in his own way. Arman's way of treating objects is very special: his intention is to remove the material function of an object so that as a work of art its only possible function is to "teed the mind" and not serve a material purpose anymore. What better way could he find to achieve that result than by breaking, slicing or even burning objects such as a violin, telephone, typewriter or even a whole car. He also makes objects useless by accumulating them (2,000 wrist watches in a plexiglass box are fun to watch but not very functional unless you like to "pick your time")
The artist discovered his famous 'Poubelles', Plexiglas cases with rubbish cast in resin, at the beginning of the 1960s. From the 'Poubelles' Arman developed the so-called 'Accumulations', a number of the same objects assembled in show cases. These arrangements consist mainly of objects of every-day life, with which the artist ironically questions the one-sided waste character of mass products. Arman began working on the 'Combustiones' (burnt objects) during a stay in New York in 1963. He accepted a teaching post in Los Angeles in 1967 and taught at the University of California until 1968. From 1975 onwards Arman spent seven years working on a monumental sculpture made of 60 cars which he called 'Long Term Parking'.

From the mid-1960s Arman made numerous visits to New York, and he soon came to regard the USA as his second home, taking American citizenship in 1972. The stocks of new objects that he discovered there directed him towards new and more abstract accumulations. These culminated in 1967–8 in the Renault Accumulations (e.g. Renault Accumulation No. 106, 1967; see 1986 exh. cat., p. 221), highly sculptural works made from separate pieces supplied by the Renault car factory, and in large-scale commissioned monuments such as Long Term Parking (h. 18 m, 1982–3; Jouy-en-Josas, Fond. Cartier Mus.), a gigantic tower consisting of 60 cars embedded in concrete. In his later work he also recast some of his earlier Rages and Combustions in bronze, and in another series, Armed Objects, he used concrete as a base in which to fix the object, somewhat in the way he had previously used transparent plastic. He broadened his imagery to include tools while remaining faithful above all to objects symbolizing the excesses of the consumer society. Arman was also an avid collector of objects, artefacts and works of art, including watches, radios, cars, European pistols, African carved sculpture (especially Kota guardian figures) and Japanese armour.

The interesting fact is that once emotionally detached from the circumstances associated with a broken violin, one-can grow to appreciate its abstract beauty; and, in a sense, Arman is literally teaching you that things you never thought could be regarded as attractive can indeed turn out to be very aesthetic.

Because of this achievement, Arman has come to full worldwide recognition.

Each year for the past eight years Arman has tigured among the top 15 artists in the list of "Top 100" artists of world-renown. Some of his original works ot art are selling for up to $100, 000. His prints and posters have been used to promote international music festivals, i.e., Luxumberg-1978.

Arman has had over 30 one-man shows in museums all over the world, many TV interviews, and innumerable articles about his work.


Together with Klein, Tinguely, Raysse and César, Arman is one of the most important artists of the Nouveau Réalisme. Since the 1950s he has been honoured with numerous international exhibitions and has presented works twice at the documenta 3 and 6 in Kassel.

Awards

Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, Grand Prix Marzotto, Commandeur des Arts et Lettres, Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite, Member of the Academia Brera.

    Selected Museum Exhibitions

    1964

    Arman, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland.

     

    Arman, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    1965

    Arman, Museum Hans Lange, Krefeld, Germany.

    1966

    Arman, Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.

     

    Arman, Musée de la Ville, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.

    1967

    Arman, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy.

    1969

    Arman: Accummulations Renault, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland; Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; Kunsthalle, Berlin, Germany; Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Städtische Kuntsammlungen, Ludwigshafen, Germany; Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland; Amos Anderson Taidemuseo, Helsinki, Helsingfors, Finland.

    1970

    Arman, Modern Art Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.

    1974

    Arman, Salles romanes du Cloître Saint-Trophime, Musée Réattu, Arles, France.

     

    Arman: Selected Works 1958 - 1974, La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, California; Fort Worth Art Museum, Texas

    1975

    Arman: Objets Armés 1971 - 1974, Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France.

    1976

    Arman, Artcurial, Paris, France.

    1977

    Arman: Paintings and Sculptures, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Kansas.

    1978

    Arman, Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium.

    1979

    Arman: Rétrospective, Centre d’Art et de Culture, Flaine, France.

    1980

    Arman, Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium.

    1981

    Arman, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany.

    1982

    Arman: Parade der Objekte: Retrospektive 1955 - 1982, Kuntsmuseum, Sammlung Sprengel, Hanover, Germany; Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany; Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; Kuntshalle, Tubingen, Germany; Musée Picasso, Château Grimaldi, Antibes, France; Musée d’Art Contemporain Dunkerque, France.

    1984

    Arman o L’Oggetto come Alfabeto: Retrospettiva 1955 - 1984, Museo Civico delle Belle Arti, Lugano, Switzerland.

     

    Arman, Museo d’Arte Moderna, Parma, Italy.

    1985

    Arman, Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan; Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea.

     

    Arman Aujourd’hui, Musée de Toulon, France.

    1986

    Arman: Retrospective, Wichita State University, Ulrich Museum of Art, Kansas.

     

    Arman, Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium.

    1989

    Chalumeau, Jean-Luc and Pierre Restany (preface), Arman - Shooting Colors, Paris, Éditions de la Différence, coll. 1: Autre Musée/Grandes Monographies.

    1991

    Arman in Italy, Fondazione Mudima, Milan, Italy.

     

    Arman Sculpture, Contemporary Sculpture Center, Tokyo, Japan.

     

    Arman: A Retrospective 1955 - 1991, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; The Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Illinois.

    1992

    Il Giro di Arman, Associazionne Culturale Italo-Francese, Bologna, Italy.

    1994

    Le Ceramica di Arman, Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza, Faenze, Italy.

    1995

    Arman, Musée Royal de Mariemont, Mariemont-Chapelle, Belgium.

    1996

    Arman: The Exhibition of International Sculpture Master, Modern Art Gallery, Taichung, Taïwan.

    1998

    Arman, Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France.

    1999

    Arman, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel

     

    Arman, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janiero, Brazil; Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    2000

    Arman - 20 stations de l’objet, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris, France.

     

    Arman, Fundaciò "la Caixa," Barcelona, Spain.

     

    Arman, la traversée des objets, Palazzo delle Zitelle, Venice, Italy.

     

    Arman, Museo de Monterrey, Mexico.

     

    Arman, National Museum of History, Taipei, China.

    2000-01

    Arman: Werke auf Papier, Ludwig Museum, Coblenz, Germany.

    2001-02

    Arman: Through and Across Objects, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida.

    2002
    Arman: Works on Paper, Villa Haiss Museum, Zell, Germany
    2003
    Arman: Arman, Museum of Contemporary Art of Teheran, Teheran, Iran
    Marlborough New York, New York City
    2004
    Omaggio ad Arman Arte Silva, Sergno
    Arman - Peinture Marlborough Monaco, Monaco
    2005
    Hommage a Arman, Galerie Anne Lettree, Paris
    2006
    Arman - Subida al Cielo, Musee d' Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain Nice, Nice
    Arman - A Tribute to Arman, Marlborough New York, New York City
    Arman - No Comment, Galerie Georges-Phillippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris
    2008
    Arman, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin

    ADDITIONAL ONE-MAN SHOWS IN MUSEUMS
  • 1967
    • Expo '67, Montreal
  • 1969
    • Musee des Arts Decoratits, Fans Louisiana Museum, Denmark
  • 1972
    • La Jolla Museum, California
  • 1976
    • Tel Aviv Museum, Israel
    SELECTED ONE-MAN GALLERY SHOWS
  • 1956
    • Galerie Haut Pave, Paris
  • 1958
    • Galerie Iris Clert, Paris
  • 1959
    • GalleriaApollinaire, Milan
  • 1960
    • GalerieSaint-Germain, Paris
  • 1961
    • Cordier Warren Gallery, New York
    • Schwarz Galleria d'Arte, Milan
  • 1962
    • Galeri'e Autourd'hui, Brussels
    • Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles
    • Galerie Lawrence, Paris
    • Galerie Saqqarah, Gstaad, Switzerland
  • 1963
    • Galerie "Ad Libitum," Antwerp
    • Galerie Altred Schmela, Dusseldorf
    • Schwarz Galleria D'Arte, Milan
    • Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
    • Galerie Lawrence. Paris
  • 1964
    • Sidney Janis Gallery. New York
  • 1965
    • Galerie Bonnier, Lausanne
    • Galerie Lawrence, Paris
    • Galeria del Leone, Venice
  • 1966
    • Galerie Bonnier, Lausanne
    • Svensk Franska Konstgaileriet, Stockholm
  • 1967
    • Galerie Francoise Mayer, Brussels
    • Galleria La Benesca, Genoa
    • Galerie des Ponchettes, Nice
    • Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Pans
    • Galleria La Bussola, Turin
    • Galleria Sperone, Turin
    • Pallazzo Grassi, Venice

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