Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
Property from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund:Selections from the Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection
Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)

La poupée de Déméter

Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
La poupée de Déméter
signed and numbered 'ARP 1/5' (on the underside)
bronze with gold patina
Height: 16 in. (40.1 cm.)
Conceived in 1961; this bronze version cast in 1973
Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach, Clamart (wife of the artist).
Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa, New York (acquired from the above, 1978).
Bequest from the above to the present owner, 1999.
E. Trier, intro., Jean Arp, Sculpture: His Last Ten Years, New York, 1968, p. 117, no. 257 (marble version illustrated, p. 116).
I. Jianou, Jean Arp, Paris, 1973, p. 79, no. 256.
R. Apter-Gabriel, ed., The Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2005, p. 237, no. 117 (illustrated in color; illustrated in color again, p. 72).
A. Hartog and K. Fischer, eds., Hans Arp: Sculptures, A Critical Survey, Ostfildern, 2012, p. 354, no. 257a (another cast illustrated).
Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art; Utica, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute; Seattle Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Art; Cincinnati Art Museum; Denver Art Museum; Adelaide, Art Gallery of South Australia; Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria; Brisbane, Queensland Art Gallery; Launceston, Tasmania, Queen Victoria Museum; Perth, Western Australian Art Gallery; Austin, University Art Museum and Sarasota, Ringling Museum, Jean Arp: Sculpture, Reliefs, Works on Paper––An Exhibition Organized by Madeleine Chalette Lejwa, February 1975-January 1979, no. 28.
New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Jean Arp, July-August 1976, no. 23 (illustrated).
Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, From Far and Wide: A Taste of the Lejwa Collection, May-August 2005.

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Lot Essay

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

In 1960, Arp became interested in the figure of Demeter, the goddess of corn, grain, and the harvest and created a curvaceous, sensuous, abstracted form to represent her. Often inspired by his own works, Arp fashioned the present work from a previous sculpture, Déméter, into a simpler, more elongated and less figurative shape. "I am often attracted by a detail in my sculptures—a curve, a contrast—which becomes the germ of a new sculpture," he wrote. "I accentuate this curve, this contrast, and it brings me new shapes" (quoted in J. Fricker, "Germe d'une nouvelle sculpture," Arp, exh. cat., Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, 1962, p. 50). He titled this work La poupée de Déméter, or Demeter’s Doll. While the original Demeter evokes the powerful image of a classical, maternal figure, the doll reminds one of play, childhood, and imagination, three of the principal themes of the Dada movement, of which Arp was one of the founders.
While the reference to Demeter may infer a traditional representation, Arp creates a modern depiction of the female form, and succeeds in creating a shape as simplified as possible, whose sensual undulations, harmonious grace and almost organic suppleness could define the criteria for timeless beauty. This fullness of form and this simplicity of representation are obtained by removing the limbs and all figurative details. Only the elegant outline of the silhouette is retained, accentuated by the luminous reflections of the golden patina.

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