Around 180 sculptures, reliefs, collages and drawings
"For Arp, art is Arp". The expression is Marcel Duchamp’s. Despite its obviousness, this alliteration incites a questioning of art according to Arp that refuses to conform to one definition, one adherence, one style or one technique, but rather, tends to thread its way throughout one and all. Indeed, his artistic career invalidates a linear, narrow reading of the history of the avant-garde: carefully selected, documented milestones show he was able to flout petty squabbling and reconcile the irreconcilable, for example, expressionism and Dada, Dada and surrealism, surrealism and constructive art. As such, a strictly chronological course was not an ideal solution: rather the exhibition prefers to concentrate on the work’s internal logic, seizing upon the special creative processes, their emergence, their eventual renewal and their possible variations. Questioning these processes doesn’t entail taking into account the "how it’s made" as an end in itself, but understanding how the work’s content elaborates itself as it takes form, how the mind and the hands, never at rest, complement each other. Henceforth, the exhibition explores the questions of the materials Arp used to break with tradition: composition, as it’s overshadowed by the improvisation of India ink drawings or driven by the "laws of chance" in collages; formal vocabulary, born entirely from the metamorphosis of an essential form, the oval: or again, the question of author, paying careful attention to the role of the hand, sometimes absent in favor of anonymous creation (works created in conjunction with Sophie Taeuber and many others) or delegated creations (accredited assistants reproducing sculptures), sometimes intimately uniting with material breathing life into it, in the torn, crumpled papers and in plaster sculptures. But Arp also excels in poetic art, a topic to be explored in and of itself (especially first editions), and relationship to Fine Arts.
In order to show this "incessant need to produce" that Jean Cassou (1) spoke of, the exhibit is presenting a collection of around 180 sculptures, reliefs, collages and drawings reunited in close collaboration with the three Arp foundations (Clamart, Locarno, Rolandseck), the newly inaugurated Arp Bahnhof Rolandseck Museum and also made possible thanks to the generosity of numerous museums (the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the Kunstmuseum Basle, the Nationalgalerie of Berlin, the National Gallery of Washington, the Museum of Modern Art in New York), and private donors. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue rich in scientific documentation – each of the exhibition’s eight thematic sections is enlightened by an author’s text (Julia Droste, Thierry Dufrêne, Isabelle Ewig, Emmanuel Guigon, Walburga Krupp, Gabriele Mahn, Guitemie Maldonado, Eric Robertson, Georges Sebbag) – and in iconographic documentation, all works on exhibit are the object of photographic reproduction. Reaching beyond the strict logic of a retrospective, photographer Martin d’Orgeval offers a visual essay, while Patrick Beurard-Valdoye pays poetic homage to Arp. Numerous manifestations –symposiums, conferences, an evening performance around dada, poetry readings, pedagogical workshops, etc. – make Strasbourg’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art an indispensable venue for the discovery of and a deeper look into Arp’s artistic and literary work.
MATERIAL OF RUPTURE
This section serves as an introduction allowing one to grasp Arp’s transition in the mid 1910’s, away from traditional mediums and techniques (oil painting on canvas, pencil and paper drawings) towards new materials, and a break with tradition (collage, wood, relief, embroidery). This shift is accompanied by another, moving from figuration to abstraction, understood in its diverse meanings, both an abstraction deriving its forms from nature and an abstraction constructed using artistic elements alone, and lacking any sort of starting point in the visible world.
REOPENING THE AUBET
On the occasion of the Art is Arp exhibition, visitors are invited to rediscover the Aubette décors, an avant-garde work created between 1925 and 1928 by Theo van Doesburg (Utrecht 1883-Davos 1931), Sophie Taeuber Arp (Davos 1889-Zurich 1943) and Hans Jean Arp (Strasbourg 1886--Basel 1966).
Location: Place Kléber 67000 Strasbourg
Tram: Homme de Fer
Hours: Open Wednesday to Saturday from 2 pm to 5 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday
Strasbourg’s Museums offers you series of visits and workshops adapted to the needs of each.
Numerous events held at Strasbourg’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art make it an indispensable venue for the discovery of and deeper look into Arp’s artistic and literary work.
This event is supported by the European cultural Season, organized during the French Presidency of the European Union (July 1st – Dec. 31st, 2008)
Heymann, Renoult Associées
Laurence Gillion firstname.lastname@example.org
tél. : (+33) 01 44 61 76 76 fax : (+33) 01 44 61 74 40
Department of communication
Alexandre Kirstetter email@example.com
tél. : 03 88 52 50 18 fax : 03 88 52 50 42
Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMC)
1, Place Hans Jean Arp 67076 Strasbourg
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12-7 pm
Thursdays, 12 pm-9 pm
Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am-6 pm
The exhibition and the museum are closed on Mondays
Special hours reserved for groups through the museums’ educational services or by guides at the Tourist office of Strasbourg.
Reservation is required for groups over 10 by calling 03 88 88 50 50 Mon to Fri from 8.30 to 12.30
General public 8 euros
Reduced fare ticket 4 euros
Tickets allow access to the exposition as well as MAMCS permanent collection