the vastness of the seas, mountains 
and sky. 
"The Tower” (1942-45) should 
be mentioned here, as it shows once 
more how Arp allows organic and 
architectural elements to oscillate. 
There is an endless interplay of 
forms and proportions between one 
mass and the next. Convertible and 
loose-jointed, the component parts, 
although entirely individual, form 
when put together a surprising en 
tity that has no beginning and no 
The synthesis which Arp has suc 
ceeded in establishing between the 
natural and the consciously struc 
tural, between chance and law, has 
caused artists belonging to the most 
divergent modern groups to ac 
knowledge his achievement. 
To Mondrian, whose works are 
the result of a more mathematical 
and architectural mind, “les formes 
neutres de Arp, qui tombent sur un 
fond neutre en dehors de toute de 
termination” 10 meant a confirmation 
of his own elementary and universal 
“neoplastic” compositions. Every 
trace of figurative representation, 
every particular form, is eliminated 
here in favor of a rectangular juxta 
position of straight lines and pure 
10. Piet Mondrian, L’Art nouveau et la vie 
nouvelle, 1931. Arp’s collaboration upon the 
magazine De Stijl (founded by Théo van Does- 
burg), one of the most inspiring buttresses of 
the whole movement, as well as the collective 
achievement in the Aubette (Strassburg, 1926), 
colors, “la nouvelle culture des rap 
ports purs.” 
The surrealist Max Ernst, whose 
paintings often have a marked lit 
erary content and are as complex as 
his vision of reality (which is magi 
cally haunted, subliminal and scien 
tific at the same time), underlines on 
the other hand Arp’s hypnotic lan 
guage. “He attracts and reflects the 
most secret, the most revealing rays 
of the universe. . . . His forms carry 
us back to forgotten paradises. They 
teach us to understand the language 
spoken by the universe itself.” 11 
That two artists so diametrically 
opposed as Mondrian and Ernst 
should join in recognition of Arp is 
surely very significant, and can only 
be explained by the fact that Arp’s 
art is one of the purest creative 
achievements of our time. This is 
largely due to a rare sensitivity, 
which enables him to penetrate and 
to disclose the mysteries of the nat 
ural world in forms so elementary 
and structurally precise that they 
seem to belong to the origins of 
existence. His art spans aeons, re 
flecting what is constant and con 
stantly changing. 
Translated by A. E. van Eyck 
for which van Doesburg, Arp and Sophie 
Tiiuber-Arp executed the murals, show how 
excellently these two very different modes of 
expression can be combined, 
li. Max Ernst, Arp, Art of This Century 
Exhibition, New York, 1944.

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