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    Sale 12245

    Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Auction

    7 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 204

    ARMAN (1928-2005)

    La Fortune sourit aux audacieux (Fortune Favours the Brave)

    Price Realised  


    ARMAN (1928-2005)
    La Fortune sourit aux audacieux (Fortune Favours the Brave)
    signed and titled ‘arman “la fortune sourit aux audacieux”’ (on the reverse)
    accumulation of strings in painted wooden box
    40 ½ x 31 1/8 x 3 ½in. (102.9 x 79.2 x 8.8cm.)
    Executed in 1962

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    “Arman (…) humbly accepts the destiny of reflecting the inconsistencies in the patterns of thought, feeling, and action that exist in the world around him. In terms of the lives we actually live, the elimination of the various modes of dialectical contradiction is no more than an aspiration- one of society’s fledgling tendencies that we can do our best to strength; but nonetheless, this tendency itself remains a contradiction within the fabric of things as they stand today.”
    —H. MARTIN, quoted in H. N. Abrams, Arman, New York, 1968

    With its intricate pattern of convoluted strings contained by a painted wooden box, Arman’s La Fortune sourit aux audacieux (1962) extols aesthetic purity in its critique of materialism. Arman twists his string into a baroque arrangement of swirling line, creating a dramatic surface of caveats and rivets. For Arman, the relationship between medium and concept is of primary concern. By elevating detritus to the status of high art, he critiques the wasteful consumerism of modern society. Developing his practice amidst the aesthetic anarchy of the 1960s, Arman was a leading exponent of nouveau réalisme. Coined by art critic Pierre Restany, the term refers to a French movement that paralleled many of the developments of American Pop Art, particularly in the work of artists such Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. The term ‘real’ references the raw prosaic materials which these artists transformed into new artistic media. The practice of incorporating waste into art has been a definitive part of Arman’s oeuvre since 1959, often taking the form of his renowned ‘accumulations’ in which the artist created assemblages of identical objects constructed into a formalized presentation. Arman’s La Fortune sourit aux audacieux is a subtle reiteration of this program – his Duchampian medium is assembled in a delicate rhythm that does not forgo aesthetics in its conceptual exploration of materiality.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Galerie Lawrence, Paris.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1964.

    Pre-Lot Text



    D. Durand-Ruel, Arman Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, Paris 1991, no. 315 (illustrated, p. 159).


    London, Tate Gallery, Painting & Sculpture of a Decade 54 64, 1964, no. 302 (illustrated, p. 237).
    Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Arman, 1966, no. 36 (illustrated, p. 13).
    Charleroi, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Prix de la Critique, 1967.
    New York, Museum of Modern Art, Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage, 1968, p. 244, no. 230 (illustrated in colour, p. 149 and 151). This exhibition later travelled to Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago.
    Knokke-le-Zoute, Casino Communal, Pop Art Nieuwe Figuartie Nouveau Réalisme, 1970, p. 100, no. 10 (illustrated p. 20).
    Nice, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Arman: monographie, 1990.
    Deurle, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Verzameling Roger en Hilda Matthys-Colle, 2007, p. 139 (illustrated, p. 30).

    Post Lot Text

    This work is recorded in the Arman Studio Archives New York under number APA# 8002.62.020.