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"Jean Arp: A Retrospective"
2001-11-23 until 2002-02-24
Joan Miro Foundation
The Joan Mirķ Foundation will be presenting Jean Arp, selected by Maria Luīsa Borrās and sponsored by the Fundaciķn BBVA. This is the first Arp retrospective to be seen in Barcelona and contains around 140 paintings, collages, reliefs and sculptures, offering an overview of the work of this artist who was so fundamental to the art of the twentieth century.
Jean Arp (Strasbourg, 1886 Basle, 1966), sculptor, painter and poet, moved to Zurich during the First World War. There, in 1916, together with Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara and Richard Huelsenbeck, he founded the Dada movement, which had its centre of operations in the Cabaret Voltaire, a literary and artistic circle that was against the established order of a bourgeoisie whom it considered responsible for the war.
One of the more interesting activities of the Dada group, and also one that has been little studied, was the exploration of form that led its members towards abstraction. Arp took part in this, which brought him in contact with the geometrical studies of Mondrian and Van Doesburg, from De Stijl, as well as Brancusis natural forms. They were all in fact aiming at the same thing: putting an end to institutionalised figurative languages and turning art into a purely aesthetic act.
Rather than showing the works in chronological order, the arrangement of the exhibition is based on the conception of art expressed by Arp in his writings, which comes clear when studying his creative mechanisms. The most significant pieces are distributed in six sections, starting with the Zurich years, and all have in common this intensive exploration of form.
The sections are titled Geometries, Automatism and Abstraction, Reliefs, Cut-outs, Metamorphosis and Humorous forms.
The exhibition aims to bring the public closer to the work of Arp while showing the constant, profound investigation of form that was evident throughout his long career.