The Nature of Arp at Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, April 13 – September 2, 2019

“The Nature of Arp, curated by Catherine Craft and organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, first venue of the show, provides a long-overdue look at the achievements of Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966), one of the most important and multifaceted artists of the modern era. Arp’s experimental approach to creation, radical rethinking of traditional art forms, and collaborative proclivities resonate with the wide-ranging character of art today.

Over a career spanning more than six decades, Arp produced a remarkably influential body of work in a rich variety of materials and formats. A founder of the Dada movement and pioneer of abstraction, he developed a vocabulary of curving, organic forms that moved fluidly between abstraction and representation and became a common point of reference for several generations of artists. The seven works by Arp nowadays belonging to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection provide a rich starting point for this exhibition, as Arp was the first artist to enter Peggy Guggenheim’s collection with his small bronze sculpture Head and Shell (Tête et coquille) dated 1933.” — Peggy Guggenheim Collection

“The first thing I bought for collection was an Arp bronze. [Arp] took me to the foundry where it had been cast and I fell so in love with it that I asked to have it in my hands. The instant I felt it I wanted to own it” wrote Peggy Guggenheim in her autobiography “Out of This Century” (London: Andre Deutsch, 1979).

Jean (Hans) Arp. Pianta-martello (Forme terrestri). Plant-Hammer (Terrestrial Forms), 1916. Legno dipinto / Painted wood, 62 x 50 x 8 cm (24 ½ x 19 ½ x 3 1/8 in.). Collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019.  Photo courtesy Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Jean (Hans) Arp. Scarpa azzurra rovesciata con due tacchi sotto una volta nera. Overturned Blue Shoe with Two Heels 
under a Black Vault, ca. 1925. 
Legno dipinto / Painted wood
, 79.3 × 104.6 × 2.5 cm (31 1⁄4 × 41 1⁄8 × 1 in.). 
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019

Jean (Hans) Arp. Tre oggetti fastidiosi su un volto. Three Disagreeable Objects on a Face, 1930. (two views). Gesso / Plaster Complessivi, 19 x 37 x 29.5 cm (Overall, 7 1/2 x 14 1/2 x 11 5/8 in.). Museum Jorn, Silkeborg, Denmark © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019. Photo courtesy of Museum Jorn, Silkeborg

Jean (Hans) Arp. Oggetti organizzati in base alla legge del caso III. Objects Arranged according to the Laws of Chance III, 1931. Olio su legno / Oil on wood, 25.7 cm x 28.9 cm x 6 cm (10 1/8 in. x 11 3/8 in. x 2 3/8 in.). San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Acquisto/Purchase © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019. Photo: Katherine Du Tiel/SFMOMA

Jean (Hans) Arp. Concrezione umana. Human Concretion, 1934. Marmo (scolpito prima del 1949) / Marble (carved before 1949), 33.7 x 40.6 x 39.4 cm (13 1/4 x 16 x 15 1/2 in.). Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia Donazione Walter P. Chrysler Jr / Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. 71.3208 © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019. Photo: Ed Pollard/Chrysler Museum of Art

Jean (Hans) Arp. Dafne. Daphne, 1955. Gesso / Plaster, 122.4 x 39 x 30 cm (48 3/16 x 15 3/8 x 11 3/4 in.). Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin / Rolandswerth © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019

Jean (Hans) Arp. Testa e conchiglia. Head and Shell, ca. 1933. 
Ottone lucidato (fusione anni Trenta) / Polished brass (cast 1930s). Altezza / Height: 19.7 cm (7 3⁄4 in.) ; larghezza / length: 22.5 cm (8 7⁄8 in.). 
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019

Jean (Hans) Arp. Scultura da perdere nella foresta (Scultura di tre forme). Sculpture to Be Lost in the Forest (Sculpture in Three Forms), 1932. Bronzo, (1/5; fusione prima del 1958) / Bronze (1/5; cast before 1958). Forma grande: 9 × 22,2 × 15,4 cm / Large form: 3 1/2 x 8 3/4 x 6 in. Forma media: 6 × 12 × 10 cm / Medium form: 2 3/8 x 4 3/4 x 4 in. Forma piccola: 6,5 × 5,5 × 9,3 cm / Small form: 2 1/2 x 2 1/8 x 3 5/8 in. Tate: bene accettato dal Governo di Sua Maestà e destinato alla Tate Gallery 1986 / Tate: Accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax and allocated to the Tate Gallery in 1986

Jean (Hans) Arp. Scultura classica. Classical Sculpture (Sculpture Classique), 1960. 
Bronzo / Bronze, 
128.27 × 22.23 × 20.32 cm (50 1/2 × 8 3/4 × 8 in.). 
Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Donazione della famiglia e degli amici in memoria di Mary Seeger O’Boyle / Given in memory of Mary Seeger O’Boyle by her family and friends
1966.13.FA
© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019

Ritratto di Arp, ca. 1926. Portrait of Arp, ca. 1926. 
Courtesy Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin/Rolandswerth

Jean (Hans) Arp con la sua scultura Tolomeo I (1953) alla Biennale di Venezia del 1954. Jean (Hans) Arp with his sculpture Ptolemy I (1953) at the Venice Biennale, 1954. Archivio Cameraphoto © Vittorio Pavan

Title photo by Matteo De Fina.

Images courtesy Peggy Guggenheim Collection.