- Jean Arp
- Painted wood relief
- 27 1/2 by 33 1/2 in.
- 70 by 85 cm
Private Collection (acquired by descent from the above and sold: Christie's, London, February 9, 2011, lot 107)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Zurich, Galerie des Eaux-Vives, 1945, no. 10
Indianapolis, John Herron Art Museum, 20th Century Painting and Sculpture: Cantor and Witzinger Collections, 1955
Gaceta de arte, no. 38, 1936, illustrated p. 78
E. Bille, 'Hans Arp', in Ny Tidskrift for Kunstindustri, no. 9, 1937, illustrated p. 161 (dated 1934)
Michel Seuphor, Mission spirituelle de l'art: A propos de l'oeuvre de Sophie Taeuber-Arp et de Jean Arp, Paris, 1953, illustrated p. 29 (titled Formes concrètes and dated 1929)
Bernd Rau & Michel Seuphor, Hans Arp, Die Reliefs, Oeuvre-katalog, Stuttgart, 1981, no. 237, illustrated p. 116 (incorrectly illustrated as no. 244, p. 119)
Configuration was executed in 1932, when Arp was fully immersed in the activities of the Surrealist group. Arp’s involvement with these artists had grown through his acquaintance with Miró, Ernst and André Breton while they were all living in Paris in the 1920s. His reliefs evolved from his earlier Dada imagery, while adopting a less abstract manner and at the same time pointing to his interest in Constructivism. The principle of chance that led Arp in the creation of his reliefs shows a great affinity with the philosophy of the Surrealist artists, as does his tendency to depict forms evocative of the human body and other organic imagery.