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Arman (1928-2005)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE HUBERTUS WALD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
Arman (1928-2005)

24ème Caprice de Paganini

Arman (1928-2005)
24ème Caprice de Paganini
signed and dated 'Arman 1962' (lower right)
sliced violin and oil on panel
32 3/8 x 25 3/8in. (82.3 x 64.5cm.)
Executed in 1962
Galerie Michel Couturier & Cie, Paris.
Galerie Saqqârah, Gstaad.
Pouset Collection, Sweden.
Private Collection, Sweden.
Anon. sale, Christie's London, 2 July 1992, lot 38.
Acquired at the above sale by Hubertus Wald, Hamburg.
D. Durand-Ruel, ARMAN, Catalogue Raisonné II 1960-1962, Paris 1991, no. 297, p. 150 (illustrated, p. 151).
Gstaad, Galerie Saqqârah, ARMAN Musical Rage, 1962, no. 180.
Paris, Galerie Michel Couturier & Cie, ARMAN et KLEIN, 1965, no. 292.
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.

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Francis Outred
Francis Outred

Lot Essay

This work is recorded in the Arman Studio Archives under number: APA# 8305.62.003.

Executed in 1962, the year of his solo exhibition at the new Dwan Gallery in Los Angeles, 24ème Caprice de Paganini is an early example of Arman's coupes or sliced objects. In this work, a carved violin is arranged rhythmically in diagonal slivers on a dark panel. Plucked of its strings and deprived of music, the hollow mystery of the instrument's sound is exposed.

The violin possesses an elegant, almost feminine form, reminiscent of a Cycladic idol. Even in its deconstructed state the object is still identifiable as a violin, its graceful shape meticulously pinned to the panel as a tribute to the artist's destructive will. One of the key tenets of Arman's artistic endeavours is to convert an act of destruction into an act of creation. Appropriating the title of the work for a solo violin by the Italian composer Niccolò Paganini, Arman's instrument is condemned to silence. But from this silence emerges a new composition, a new melody.

The son of an art dealer, Arman's youth was filled with objects. These objects subsequently became crucial to his work, yet he deliberately disturbs and destroys their integrity as objects in order to realise his own particular aesthetic objectives. A founding member of the Nouveaux Réalistes, Arman explained that 'the great shock for me was the discovery of Dada and Surrealism and seeing objects made integral to the work of art' (Arman quoted in J. Putman, Les Moments d'Arman, Paris 1973).

For Arman, the act is an important element of his artistic practice. He accumulates, cuts, burns, destroys, and transforms the object and, in so doing, gives it a new shape, a new life. As van de Marck has observed, 'Arman's working methods are more akin to those of the surgeon or demolition expert than to those of the painter or sculptor. He searches and selects, appraises and decides, isolates or combines, arranges and rearranges, cuts, burns, pours and freezes to ultimately present instead of representing, a new world of his own making' (J. van de Marck, 'Arman: An Archaeologist of the Present', Arman: Selected Activities, New York 1973, p. 20).

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