India’s only daily art newspaper

Jean Arp, the artist who moved on from a painter to a sculptor



Born in the year 1887, Jean Arp was a French sculptor and painter who was one of the leaders of the European avant-garde in the arts during the first half of the 20th century. He died on this day, June 7, 1966. He was known as a Dadaist and an abstract artist.


Jean Arp was also popularly known as Hans Arp. His artist training began in 1900 in his home town Strasbourg and later studied in Weimar, Germany and at the Academie Julian in Paris. He moved to Munich in 1912, there he got involved with the German Expressionist group, Der Blaue Reiter and exhibited his works. He was also connected with Der Sturm in Berlin and exhibited with them in 1913. Arp returned to Paris in 1914 and befriended Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Robert Delaunay, as well as the writer Max Jacob.


The artist expanded his efforts from collage and bas-relief to include bronze and stone sculptures, which is what now he’s mostly known for. He produced many small works made of multiple elements that the viewer could pick up, separate and rearrange into new configurations. International recognition of his work happened in 1949 during his solo exhibition at the Buchholz Gallery. Thereon in 1950 he was invited to execute a relief for the Harvard University Graduate Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was also commissioned to do a mural at UNESCO building in Paris.


He was an awardee of the Grand Prize for sculpture at the 1954 Venice Biennale, a sculpture prizes at 1964 Pittsburgh International, the 1963 Grand Prix National des Arts, the 1964 Carnegie Prize, the 1965 Goethe Prize from the University of Hamburg and then the Order of Merit with a Star of the German Republic. He’s best remembered as a sculptor— for his reliefs, and his smoothly rounded, biomorphic forms. He was also a gifted poet and a painter.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *