Already, in the first three-dimen 
sional pieces of sculpture of the early 
Meudon period, Arp began to intro 
duce a new kind of monumentality 
in which creation naturelle and créa 
tion humaine are amalgamated. 
Turning away from the daemonic 
quality of extreme proportional con 
trasts, he arrived at a synthesis. Para 
dox and irony are absorbed in favor 
of a more complete participation of 
human values, with life and nature. 
His sharp structural bias, far from 
becoming an end in itself, even 
stresses, through contrast, the struc 
tural growth of his earlier period. 
He desired “to inject into the vain 
and bestial world and its retinue, the 
machine, something peaceful and 
Earlier Arp had started out from 
the material itself, trying to bring to 
the surface plastically its autono 
mous and latent forces. Later he be 
gan, as it were, to choose and direct 
his materials quite freely, more and 
more confident of the existence of 
higher human values. The sudden 
death of Arp’s wife, Sophie Täuber, 
the integrity and stern consistency 
of whose works (1915-43) had con 
firmed and inspired him throughout 
his creative struggle, should be men 
tioned here, because it hastened a 
development already in progress. In 
stead of papiers collés, Arp now con 
centrated on papiers déchirés, intro 
ducing for the first time a transitory 
element. The vulnerability of ma 
terials to time is anticipated, and 
made an intrinsic component of the 
work. This attitude towards time, 
which also interests Picasso as ques 
tions of simultaneity and movement, 
is brought to direct expression in 
the work of Arp. 
In 1943, Arp made several wood 
and marble reliefs which were of a 
marked angularity, as though of 
something shattered. The flowing 
interplay of positive mass-forms and 
the negative space-forms is main 
tained, although we are conscious of 
the kind of felt vacuum that follows 
shock. This interlude of dispersed 
angularity recalls the severe early 
collages, as well as the nervous pa 
piers déchirés of later date, in which 
transient things and death are di 
rectly absorbed. 
No doubt the most specifically 
stressed quality in Arp’s art is the 
interpenetration of natural growth 
fantastically transformed, plus clear 
mathematical structure. The float 
ing cell-like forms — primary units 
of growth — are distilled, reshaped 
into consciousness as they pass 
through the artist. Arp’s proximity 
to elementary worlds, such as those 
of the child and of pre-history, is 
inherent, as it is with Klee and Miro, 
and never affected. 
In contrast to Arp’s weird and 
dormant forms, which seem to be 
long to other stratas of conscious 
ness, those of Brancusi have some 
thing mediterranean that emerges 
with incredible splendor from the 
material in which they are con 
ceived. They should be visualized 
out in the open, immensely en 
larged, as great symbols of enlight 
enment. Arp’s forms are fraternally 
tied to the flowers, leaves and stones 
of the world; Brancusi’s are full of

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.