Arp's mastery of biomorphic form led to his incorporation of human figural elements into his abstracted sculptures in his last decade. Arp frequently compared the practice of artistic production within that of biological creation, both of which are intimately embodied by Apparat d'une danse. The artist held a particular interest in the natural world, which he aimed to “create” rather than “describe,” as was common in the tradition of naturalism. Furthermore, “Arp’s interest in nature was also directed at what he perceived to be the basic forces and principles underlying nature, the forces of growth and transformation” (Margherita Andreotti, The Early Sculpture of Jean Arp, Ann Arbor, 1989, p. 259). This proved particularly innovative within the medium of sculpture which had long been dominated by naturalistic representations of the human form.
In the present work, a bifurcated human figure gesticulates into motion, leaping unmistakably into a jubilant dance. An example of Arp's most accomplished work, Apparat d'une danse brings natural form into dazzling movement in the world, exemplifying the artist's overarching approach of continually "looking" into the present day.
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