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Introduction

This event is supported by the European cultural Season, organized during the French Presidency of the European Union (July 1st – Dec. 31st, 2008)
Strasbourg Ville de culture  Communauté urbaine de Strasbourg  Saison culturelle européenne  Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication  Musées de France  Museum - Musées  Dernières nouvelles d'Alsace  France 3 - Alsace

© 2008 - Les Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg

 


[10] DESTRUCTIVE IMPLUSE

In early 1930, Arp realized that research on the absolute was vain, that perfection, purity and certitude were merely chimeras. These feelings surfaced after he realized that a number of his collages had been damaged while stored in an attic, but also for a more personal reason – that of his mother’s death. He indisputably manifested doubt concerning modernistic utopia (van Doesburg’s Concrete art and his dream of an elaborated white painting «at the heights of truth where the air is pure and can be withstood only by metallic lungs», comes to mind) an idea rejoining Bataille’s thought on base-materialism. Accepting the idea that all life is destined to deterioration, disintegration and death, Arp attempts to integrate this natural process into his work. He reuses old collages, engravings or drawings (his own or those of his friends), ripping them up and re-configuring the fragments in a new manner. This recurrent practice is shown along with one of its variations, crumpled paper whose potential he exploits at the beginning of the Second World War: produced from packaging paper, they testify to the poverty and shortage of the times; but also its violence as inflicted by Arp’s gesture. As a way of fully exposing and understanding that a certain violence reigns in his work, and this against all cliché, Arp’s literally severed sculpture, Nu Floral, is presented.