Numbered II/V on the interior of the base
Galerie Chalette, New York
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner circa 1962
The family of the present owner is believed to have purchased this sculpture from the New York-based Galerie Chalette in the early 1960s. Around that time, the gallery staged an exhibition of Arp's work, featuring the silhouette of Figure-germe dite l'après-midinette on the cover of the exhibition catalogue, as this sculpture was considered a crowning achievement of Arp's production. In the catalogue for the exhibition, Michel Seuphor expounded on the spiritual appeal of Arp's forms, of which the present work , also known in English as Bud figure, is a defining example: "[A] man of accomplished spirituality might see in each of Arp's sculptures a translation of the highest activities of the spirit, the very soul of the Prajna Paramita of the Hindus. And is not a leaf as authentic an image of the supreme wisdom as the imaginary face of the Buddha? What is a form if not the expression of a force that animates it, of a spirit that inhabits it? To let this force, this spirit, speak freely is the aim that Arp undertakes to achieve without going beyond it. Now it is especially difficult not to go beyond it (through the richness of the imagination, in particular), for this language must be as simple as the song of a bird, as calm as the beating of the heart, as humble as water" (M. Seuphor, Jean Arp & Sophie Taeuber-Arp (exhibition catalogue), op. cit. p. 14).
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