The object becomes the subject of my works.

This is the constant of the biggest name of Nouveau Realisme together with Klein and Pascal. From here the entire artistic investigation of one of the most prolific and complex French artists of the 1900s, Arman, unfolds.

Arman, Artériosclérose, 1961, 47.5 x 72.5 x 7.5 cm

Armand Fernandez, born at the end of the Twenties in his beloved Nice, grows artistically out of any academy or current, coming to overturn and relocate the boundaries between art and reality, expropriating the material of his function, and removing the art of his basic aesthetic characteristics.

In the sixties, finally, thanks to the exchange with Klein, his idea of ​​art finds its official form and location with the establishment of the movement of the French Nouveau Realisme, which will be the transposition of all that concern towards the new way of living the materiality of the average western human being; reason why the members conceive the man so succubus of this new kind of approach, that they feel it properly victim and product of a superstructure managed by objects.

Starting from this reasoning, what becomes of great importance for these artists, rather than the product itself that’s better employed in American pop art, is the material in its essence, as a constituent of the reality of objects and of the world in which they are placed, and the objects themselves as a material that can be molded in turn.

Arman, Accumulation de Tubes de Painture Dans & Hellip

Arman in particular, considers objects as being part of the same identity between material and reality; this is why it does not act on objects to take possession of them and change their nature, but exploits them as a raw material to which he relates, contaminating it with transversal aims and poisoning its historical belonging. The artist alone can accomplish this kind of operation by exporting and expropriating the object of its context specifically to produce resistance to the present time and to its reality, resistance carried out by the very constitution of the work. The art of Arman therefore completely loses the classical mimetic purpose, starting from the presence of reality itself to highlight its total absence and intrinsic detachment, in an existential oxymoron of distressing showiness. The artwork is therefore his enduring device to govern complexity as a multitude through the creation of a linguistic method capable of putting the individual in communication with society.


Hence the use of objects in his characteristic Accumulations, a concept that provides the relationship between a multitude of objects of the same nature, which Arman defines the Unused: “In the unused, a means of expression particularly attracts my attention and my care ; it is the accumulations, that is the multiplication and the blocking in a volume corresponding to the shape, the number and the size of the manufactured objects. “

Arman, Underlined, 1996, 152 x 122 x 16 cm
Arman, Accumulation de bouchons ROD, 24 x 41 x 5 cm

A relationship that has nothing to do with dada decontextualization but rather with the re-establishment of the entity of the single object through its obsessive repetition into a single volume, an independent shape that echoes its essence, as the collective consciousness that defines that same object. And there are no favorite objects, the conjugation of any type with its peers produces a double cognitive process, of the object in itself and in a second moment of reality, thanks to the foundation of an intuitive formal method in which it operates and reality share the same material, which decomposes and dissolves itself to the action of awareness.

Consequently, even the production of the artistic work is the freer and more effective the less it is associated with handicraft and craftsmanship, rather than approaching the use of techniques and materials of the consumer industry, which instead have a more perceptible pregnancy to reality: “This manufacturing process is in correlation with current methods: automation, chain work and assembly in series, create layers and geological levels full of all the force of reality.” The industrial method of realization of works of Arman, contrary to what it might suggest at the level of the perceived value, is therefore in full homology with his artistic reflection.

Arman, Car Accumulation, 1985

Here bottles, corks, violins, paint rollers, tubes of color, cutlery, brushes, bicycles, even sardines, reinterpreted and united through their material communion, regain their independence, thus creating a gap that escapes from the metalinguistic coherence of the art, and that rather stabilizes the presence of the object for what it is, thus giving the viewer the possibility to live, with a new mental and aesthetic attitude, the concreteness of his present, without falling into a surreal space of contemplation.

From this extraordinary work comes a vivid interest on our part of Artvalor towards the production of the accumulations of Arman, whose reflection today is absolutely actual and present even at an aesthetic level; among our recent acquisitions and sales, Arman is certainly a name that at very different levels keeps the attention of the public of great contemporary art ever more alive.

Arman, Full-Up, Boite de Sardines, 1960

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