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First exhibition in a public gallery of Jean Arp's work in the UK since 1966 opens at Turner Contemporary
Installation view.


MARGATE.- This Autumn Turner Contemporary presents Arp: The Poetry of Forms , the first exhibition in a public gallery of Jean Arp’s work in the UK since 1966.

Jean Arp, known as Hans when in Germany, was one of the most versatile and powerfully original abstract artists of the 20th century, rejecting art institutions and the practices that he saw as perpetuating elitist values. He was a pioneer in the use of chance when creating his work, influencing 20th century art movements including abstraction, surrealism, and constructivism.

“everything is an approximation, less than an approximation, for, on rigorous examination, even the most accomplished picture is a filthy, wart - infested approximation, dry magma, a desolate landscape of lunar craters.” – Jean Arp

Over 70 sculptures and reliefs – many of which have not been on display previously in the UK – feature in Arp: The Poetry of Forms.

Alongside these artworks are publications of Arp’s poetry and writings. Arp was an ‘intermedia’ artist years before the term existed, and he drew conscious connections between his visual work and his poetry. As artist and wordsmith, Arp’s titles often interact with the visual forms he created in amusing or playful ways.

Arp (16 September 1886 – 7 June 1966) was a German-French sculptor, painter, poet, and abstract artist. Born in Strasbourg, he published poetry in Paris, exhibited alongside Matisse in Munich, and was a pioneering figure of the Dada movement in Zürich. He won many awards including the Grand Prize for sculpture at the 1954 Venice Biennale. Arp collaborated with and married fellow artist Sophie Taeuber.

‘Arp’s artworks convey the sheer pleasure he took in working with materials of all sorts.’ – Eric Robertson

The exhibition is curated by Frances Guy, an independent curator and Eric Robertson, Professor of Modern French Literary and Visual Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Arp: The Poetry of Forms is organised in collaboration with the Kröller-Müller Museum in The Netherlands, and brings together loans from the Arp foundations in Berlin and Locarno, and from museums including Tate, Kunsthaus Zurich and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

A publication, entitled Arp: The Poetry of Forms , written by Frances Guy and Eric Robertson, accompanies the exhibition.





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