Exhibitions: Arman 1955-1991: A Retrospective

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    Arman 1955-1991: A Retrospective

    Press Releases ?
    • February 1991: A major traveling exhibition of the French-American avant-garde artist Arman, will open at The Brooklyn Museum in the Robert E. Blum Gallery on the first floor on February 28, 1992, and will remain on view through April 26. Arman 1955-1991: A Retrospective is the artist’s first comprehensive exhibition in this country since 1974. It will feature approximately 70 works ranging from his early painterly Cachets created with rubber stamps through his recent bronzes.

      Also included in the exhibition will be the accumulations and destructions for which Arman is best known. “I didn’t discover the principal of accumulation; it discovered me,” Arman has said. “It has always been obvious that society feeds its sense of security with a pack-rat instinct demonstrated in its window displays, its assembly lines, its garbage piles.

      “As a witness of my society, I have always been very much involved in the pseudobiological cycle of productions, consumption, and destruction. And for a long time, I have been anguished by the fact that one of its most conspicuous material results is the flooding of our world with junk and odd objects.”

      Arman abandoned the paintbrush in 1955 and began experimenting with new forms of assemblage. Beginning in 1960 he created a number of works utilizing carefully selected detritus, ranging from ordinary household trash to scrapped industrial goods. Some of these creations were large-scale installations, others displayed dross in vitrines. Arman’s accumulations also ranged from those that included a wide variety of refuse, including broken bicycles and discarded phonograph records, to those that were composed of similar objects, such as his 1985 L’Heure de Tous, an assemblage of welded bronze clocks at the Gare Saint Lazare in Paris which has become a popular rendezvous site.

      In the early 1960s Arman began to explore the complementary opposite of these accumulations with a series of so-called destructions. Frequently musical instruments and other similarly well-crafted objects were carefully dissected. Public destructions included dynamiting a sportcar[;] the resulting work [is] now in a private collection entitled White Orchids.

      “As far as I’m concerned, there is no fundamental difference between accumulating an object or smashing and object,” Arman comments. “1,000 objects are not fundamentally different than 1,000 pieces of the same object. There is also a logic to destruction. If you break a rectangular box, you arrive at something cubits [sic]. If you break a violin you get something romantic.”

      Arman was introduced in the United States in the landmark exhibition The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1961. Born Armand Fernandez in Nice in 1928, the son of an antiques and second-hand furniture dealer, he cast off his surname in a youthful emulation of Van Gogh, and later became Arman when a typesetter dropped the d from his name. In 1960, along with a group of other Paris artists, Arman founded the Nouveaux Réalistes, a group which experimented with the use of manufactured objects in art.

      In 1963 he began to spend the greater part of each year in New York, which fascinated him because he found the city to be one giant accumulation. In 1973 he became a citizen of the United States. A student of archaeology and oriental art, Arman is also an amateur cellist as well as an expert in judo and chess.

      Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, this exhibition was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The presentation at The Brooklyn Museum was made possible through the corporate support of Movado Watch Company. Major funding was also provided by Felipe Grimberg, Bogota, and Mariso del Re Gallery, New York; and Caral and Joseph Lebworth. Additional support was provided by Brooklyn Steel Warehouse Company.

      A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 01-06/1991, 017-19. View Original 1 . View Original 2

    • November 1, 1991: A major traveling exhibition of the French-American avant-garde artist Arman will open at The Brooklyn Museum in the Robert E. Blum Gallery on the first floor on February 28, 1992, and will remain on view through April 26. Arman 1955-1991: A Retrospective is the artist’s first comprehensive exhibition in this country since 1974. The exhibition features 70 works of art ranging from his early Cachets, monotypes created with rubber stamps, to his most recent bronzes, which are on view in America for the first time.

      Born Armand Fernandez in Nice in 1928, the son of an antiques and secondhand furniture dealer, he cast off his surname in a youthful emulation of van Gogh and later became Arman when a typesetter dropped the d from his name. The artist came to international prominence in the early 1960s with his inventive assemblages and controversial installations that used actual garbage and waste materials. He became the chief proponent of the Paris association of avant-garde artists called the Nouveaux Réalistes (New Realists) and championed the use of real materials over more traditional forms of art.

      Arman’s mature style combines the philosophies of synthesis and deconstruction. His Accumulations, an extended series of works begun in 1960, are constructions made up of objects ranging from ordinary household items such as pliers, shoe trees, and wrenches, to scrapped industrial goods. Some of these creations were large-scale installations; others displayed dross in vitrines. Arman’s accumulations also ranged from those that included a wide variety of refuse, including broken bicycles and discarded phonograph records, to those that were composed of similar objects, such as his 1985 L’Heure de Tous, an assemblage of welded bronze clocks installed at the Gare Saint Lazare in Paris, which has become a popular rendezvous site. Arman’s Destructions, which complement the Accumulations, are made from single objects that have been reduced to fragments. Frequently musical instruments and other similarly well-crafted objects were carefully dissected. Public destructions included dynamiting a sportscar. As Arman stated, “There is no difference between accumulating an object or smashing an object. 1000 objects are not fundamentally different from 1000 pieces of the same object. There is also a logic to destruction. If you break a rectangular box, you arrive at something cubist. If you break a violin you get something romantic.”

      Arman was first featured in the United States in the landmark exhibition The Art of Assemblage at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1961. In 1963, he began to spend a greater part of each year in New York, which fascinated him because he found the city to be one giant accumulation. Arman was identified with the early Pop art movement and formed friendships with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Frank Stella.

      In the last two decades, Arman’s work has followed a more individualistic path. His artworks have grown more reflective, addressing human concerns in the face of world events. Arman has frequently worked in the public arena by creating monumental outdoor installations.

      A student of archaeology and Asian art, Arman is also an amateur cellist as well as an expert in judo and chess.

      Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, this project was funded in part by funds from The National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

      Additional support for the presentation at The Brooklyn Museum was provided by the Caral and M. Joseph Fund of the Jewish Communal Fund of New York. Elizabeth Easton, Assistant Curator for European Painting and Sculpture, is the coordinating curator at The Brooklyn Museum.

      A fully illustrated catalogue published by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will accompany the exhibition.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 07-12/1991, 206-208. View Original 1 . View Original 2 . View Original 3

    • January 1992: Date: Thursday, February 27, 1992

      Time: 10 a.m.-noon

      Place: The Robert E. Blum Gallery, first floor The Brooklyn Museum

      Transportation:
      Special motorcoach service will be available to transport members of the press to The Brooklyn Museum, departing from the front of the Plaza Hotel promptly at 9:00 a.m. Return service will leave the Museum for the Plaza Hotel at noon. To reserve seating on the bus, please phone (718) 638-5000, ext. 330 or 331.

      Exhibition Dates: February 28-April 26, 1992

      This major traveling exhibition will feature approximately 70 works of art by French-American avant-garde artist Arman. It is his first comprehensive exhibition in this country since 1974. It will feature works ranging from his early monotypes created with rubber stamps up to his recent bronzes, many of which are on view in this country for the first time.

      Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, this exhibition was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The presentation at The Brooklyn Museum was made possible through the corporate support of Movado Watch Company. Major funding was also provided by Felipe Grimberg, Bogotá, and Marisa del Re Gallery, New York; and the Caral and Joseph Lebworth Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Communal Fund of New York. Elizabeth Easton, Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, is the coordinating curator at The Brooklyn Museum.

      Refreshments will be served. RSVP Sally Williams or Michelle Menendez (718) 638-5000, ext. 330 or 331.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 01-06/1992, 028. View Original

    Press Coverage of this Exhibition ?

    • Review/Art; Stacks of Odds and Ends That Tease the MindFebruary 28, 1992 By ROBERTA SMITH"THE French artist known simply as Arman is a master orchestrator of everyday objects, which makes his retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum great fun. But his work rarely progresses beyond the level of light entertainment. It is clever in concept, skilled in execution but eerily devoid of emotional depth. Venture beneath the surfaces of his often..."
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    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
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