PaperCity Magazine

September 2018- Dallas

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85 J ean Arp might be the most misunderstood man in art history. He is certainly not the household name of contemporaries Picasso or Matisse. And he's not conjured up with iconic imagery like the better-known Spanish Surrealist painter and sculptor Joan Miró, nor the wildly popular poster child for Surrealism, René Magritte. Despite Arp's role as the father of the Dada movement, one thinks of Duchamp when it comes to Dadaism. Outside the field of modern art, Arp is rarely on the radar and appreciated almost in reverse proportion to his seminal importance. This month, expect all of that to change. A biomorphic wave of Arpism rises from Dallas' Nasher Sculpture Center, then makes landfall next April at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, timed to be on view during the 58th Venice Biennale. (In 1954, Arp captured the sculpture prize at the Venice Biennale.) The Nasher effectively makes the case for an Arp revival. It argues why the artist, poet, Dadaist, Surrealist, and abstractionist deserves re-examination as one of the most fascinating figures in the pantheon of 20th-century art history. Mention Arp, and most insiders think of the sinuous or biomorphic. The exhibition, titled "The Nature of Arp," serves up sculptures emblematic of that approach, as well as more abstract and extremely futuristic wooden cutouts and early paper collages of cut-and-pasted rectangles that show the artist deconstructing the grid. The palette is hauntingly of the now — unexpected shades of oxblood, mauve-gray, rust- colored brown, d e f o r e s t e d g r e e n , a n d deep aubergine c o u l d b e straight out of a Prada r u n w a y playbook. N a s h e r curator — and Dada expert — Catherine Craft approaches the show from the aspect of flora and fauna, thus t h e t i t l e : " T h e Nature of Arp." The international reappraisal is the first in 30 years in North America — and, arguably, the highest-profile exhibition that Craft has curated to date. "Art of the last century is unthinkable without him," Craft says. "And his commitment to moving between different languages, cultures, and communities today appears more timely than ever." Arp is an essential touchstone of the Nasher Sculpture Collection. His exquisitely understated ode to nature and the human figure, the bronze Torso with Buds, 1961, sparked the start of Patsy and Raymond Nasher's collection; she bestowed it upon her husband as a birthday gift in 1967, and the rest is history. During their lifetime, it stood as a beacon and a talisman at their home's interior entrance. Torso with Buds will be among the 80- some works showcased in "The Nature of Arp," including loans from international and national museums, private collections, and foundations. "The Nature of Arp," at the Nasher Sculpture Center, September 15, 2018 – January 6, 2019; nashersculpture Opposite page: Portrait of Jean (Hans) Arp, circa 1926. Arp works, this page, clockwise from top: Three Disagreeable Objects on a Face, 1930; Plant Hammer (Terrestrial Forms), 1916; Ptolemy I, 1953; Untitled (Squares Arranged according to the Laws of Chance), 1917. PAGE 84: PHOTO COURTESY STIFTUNG ARP E.V., BERLIN / ROLANDSWERTH. PAGE 85, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: MUSEUM JORN, SILKEBORG, DENMARK; © 2018 ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NYC / VG BILD-KUNST, BONN; PHOTO COURTESY MUSEUM JORN, SILKEBORG. COLLECTION OF THE GEMEENTEMUSEUM DEN HAAG; © 2018 ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NYC / VG BILD-KUNST, BONN; PHOTO COURTESY GEMEENTEMUSEUM DEN HAAG. MOMA, NYC; © 2018 ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NYC / VG BILD-KUNST, BONN; DIGITAL IMAGE © MOMA / LICENSED BY SCALA / ART RESOURCE, NYC. MOMA, NYC; © 2018 ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NYC / VG BILD-KUNST, BONN; DIGITAL IMAGE © MOMA / LICENSED BY SCALA / ART RESOURCE, NYC.

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