- Jean Arp
- Entité ailée
- Inscribed with the foundry mark Georges Rudier Fondeur Paris (on the base)
Sale: Maître Binoche, Drouot-Montaigne, Paris, April 29, 1994, lot 19
PaceWildenstein, New York
Private Collection (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, Paris, July 3, 2008, lot 41)
Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman
New York, PaceWildenstein, Early forms: The Biomorphic Sculpture of Arp, Calder and Noguchi, 2000, illustrated in the catalogue
Edouard Trier, Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach & François Arp, Jean Arp, Sculptures 1957-1966, Teufen, 1968, no. 252a, illustration of another cast p. 117
Eduard Trier, Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach & François Arp, Jean Arp, Sculpture, His Last Ten Years, New York, 1968, no. 252a, illustration of another cast p. 117
Jean Arp, From the collections of Mme Marguerite Arp and Arthur and Madeleine Lejwa (exhibition catalogue), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1972, no. 18, illustration of another cast
Ionel Jianou, Jean Arp, Paris, 1973, no. 252a, illustration of another cast pl. 29
Arp, 1886-1966 (exhibition catalogue), Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 1986, no. 521, illustration of the plaster version p. 234
Erica Kessler, Sammlung Marguerite Arp: Werke aus der Fondazione Marguerite Arp (exhibition catalogue), Lugano, 1991, no. 20, illustration of another cast p. 44
Enrico Crispolti & Luigi Cavadini, Aliventi, Arp, Viani: L'immaginario organico (exhibition catalogue), Florence, 1992, no. 25, illustration of another cast p. 56
Jean Arp, L'invention de la forme (exhibition catalogue), Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 2004, illustration of another cast p. 126
Chaude Weil-Seigeot, Atelier Jean Arp et Sophie Taeuber, Paris, 2012, illustration of another cast p. 198
Arie Hartog & Kai Fischer, Jean Arp, Sculptures, A Critical Survey, Bonn, 2012, no. 252a, illustration of another cast p. 351 and catalogued p. 352
Arp conceived this work in marble in 1961, one year before his important retrospective of his work in Paris and New York. In a 1965 photograph, the artist poses in his garden with his arm around the sculpture beneath the shade of a tree. Here, as in the sculpture itself, there is an unmistakable suggestion of metamorphosis: "Arp's assimilation of the process of creation in nature with that of art finds a tangible dimension in his sculptures [...]. Stemming from simple, primordial forms - most frequently that of an embryo, a simple head, a navel, a bud, or even an amoeba – Arp's sculptures deploy their powers of spatial expression precisely through these organic and rounded masses which swell and bulge with a life of their own and whose expansive movements suggest the existence of an imaginary energy centre at the heart of the works themselves. Indeed, there is a sense of permanent flux, as though currents and forces loom up to the surface only to be solidified there" (in Jean Arp, L'invention de la forme, Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, 2004, p. 52).
The present work is equally concerned with the historical and mythological aspects of metamorphosis. His quest for the ideal form lead Arp to an appreciation of the earliest civilizations in Antiquity; of their art and myths which were very much the vehicle for the idea of metamorphosis. At a time when he was to entitle his works Amphore des étoiles, Souvenir du pays d'Héraclès, Femme amphore, Daphné, Les trois grâces, Figure mythique, Ptolémée, Torse de Chorée..., Arp bestowed his Entité ailée with the globular forms of Cyclades, as well as the power and the fervour of a Victoire de Samothrace. He observed that, "From Impressionism onwards, art has turned irrevocably towards the disintegration of the human figure. A reaction was inevitable. For me, it is not about a return to a forgotten realism, though I have a strong need to create, and to create more than just the 'human concretions' of days gone by, but rather a mythical sculpture which takes the form of a head or a torso. Is mythical the right word? Indeed, we are talking about divinity, but it is more of a human divinity, as the sages and poets have always upheld. Hesiod, for example, who positions man at the centre of the universe. This is my sculpture today" (In Arp, ibid., p. 24).
According Arie Hartog and Kai Fischer's critical survey of Arp's sculpture, the present bronze was cast by the Georges Rudier Foundry in 1977 and is recorded in Greta Ströh's archive as either 00/3 or 000/3.