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Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
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Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
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A party with a direct or indirect interest in this… Read more A Family Vision: The Collection of H.S.H. Princess "Titi" von Fürstenberg
Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)

Entité ailée

Details
Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
Entité ailée
polished black granite
Height: 39 ¾ in. (101 cm.)
Height including base: 50 ¾ (129 cm.)
Conceived in 1961 and carved by 1963; unique
Provenance
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York (by 1963).
Cecil "Titi" Blaffer von Fürstenberg, Houston (acquired from the above, April 1966).
By descent from the above to the present owners.
Literature
H. Read, Arp, London, 1968, p. 207, no. 126 (illustrated).
E. Trier, M. Arp-Hagenbach and F. Arp, Jean Arp, Sculpture: His Last Ten Years, New York, 1968, p. 117, no. 252 (bronze version illustrated).
Sidney Janis Presents an Exhibition of Sculpture by Jean Arp, exh. cat., Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 1968 (illustrated in situ at the 1963 Sidney Janis Gallery exhibition).
I. Jianou, Jean Arp, Paris, 1973, p. 79, no. 252 (bronze version illustrated, pl. 29).
A. Hartog and K. Fischer, Hans Arp Sculptures: A Critical Survey, Ostfildern, 2012, p. 351, no. 252 (bronze version illustrated).
C. Weil-Seigeot, Atelier Jean Arp et Sophie Taeuber, Paris, 2012, p. 198 (bronze version illustrated).
Exhibited
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Exhibition of Sculpture by Jean Arp in Marble, Bronze and Wood Relief from the Years 1923-63, April-May 1963, no. 9 (illustrated).
New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Los Angeles, University of California; Des Moines Art Center; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and Kunsthaus Zürich, The Art of Jean Arp, May 1969-August 1970, p. 207, no. 126 (illustrated).
Special notice

A party with a direct or indirect interest in this lot who may have knowledge of the lot’s reserve or other material information may be bidding on this lot
Sale room notice
Please note the updated cataloguing:
Height: 39 ¾ in. (101 cm.)
Height including base: 50 ¾ (129 cm.)

Brought to you by

Jessica Fertig
Jessica Fertig

Lot Essay

We thank the Fondation Arp, Clamart, for their help cataloguing this work.

In addition to the unique granite, the artist cast this subject in bronze; one of the four bronze casts is in the collection of the Stiftung Hans Arp und Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Remagen, Germany. The white marble version is at the Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. Plaster versions are in the collections of the Stiftung Hans Arp und Sophie Taeuber-Arp and The Fondation Arp, Clamart.

A streamlined, undulating form, entirely smooth and restricted to essential features only, appears to lift effortlessly from its pedestal. Anchored in a taut, rounded mass that evokes the hips of a feminine torso or the bulb of a flowering plant, the sculpture tapers sensuously at mid-section before swelling outward once again. The flowing contours terminate at the top in two burgeoning buds that paraphrase the shape of a head and a raised shoulder—or lifted wing.
The title that Arp gave to this buoyant, ascending form—Entité ailée—is intentionally non-specific, and suggests metaphorical possibilities that mirror the metamorphic, evolutionary process inherent in this or any other sculpture by this artist, especially during this culminating consummation of his art, which Eduard Trier insisted “must be comprehended as a multiple simultaneous unfolding” (op. cit., 1968, p. VII). About to take flight, this “winged entity” may be avian or angelic, perhaps a mere seed-pod borne on the wind, or simply an idea which suggests numerous other possibilities, at this stage only embryonic its development, awaiting further maturation and emergence.
The inspiration for Entité ailée may have occurred during a trip in 1960 to the Near East, while Arp viewed Assyrian wall reliefs of “winged genii”—hybrid human guardian spirits—in museums, works also found in European collections. The artist also may have had in mind examples of Classical and Hellenistic sculpture, which had been a touchstone for his art following his second trip to Greece in 1955, in this instance alluding to the winged Nike (Victory) on the Acropolis or the famous example in the Louvre. "He incorporated the classical into his arsenal of sculptural forms,” Trier wrote. “He appropriated the essential. He saw that which was Arp in the Greek" (ibid., p. xi).
Having developed the flat, biomorphic shapes of his early Dada wall reliefs into fully fledged, standing sculptural creations, Arp during the 1930s arrived a language of rounded, organic forms—suggesting both human and vegetal affinities—that became the wellspring of his art for the remaining three decades of his career. He rooted his creative activity in principles of continuous metamorphosis that parallel the generative, evolutionary processes in nature itself, enabling him to transform elemental motifs into ever varied and new integral forms.
“Each of Arp's sculptures contains the seed of its growth from birth,” Trier explained. “What one of them has attained in completeness or greater perfection it passes on to the next... All these transmutations, transitions, pupations are not definitives. The forms remain fluid. They move on the road of one meaning to another... This is his syntax and it has imprinted itself on our minds by its modified repetition and underlying permanence. Arp tapped a source that continually reaffirms its inexhaustibility" (ibid., pp. xii and xiv).

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