Olga's Gallery

Jean (Hans) Arp Biography

Jean (Hans) Arp, born in Alsace, is associated with several art movements of the twentieth century. In 1911 he was influenced by the abstractions of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) and participated in his Der Blaue Reiter exhibitions in Munich; later Cubism greatly impressed him. Then he was interested by the idea of spontaneous creativity of the human subconscious mind and this idea became dominant in his art. He created collages with torn paper, letting the pieces fall freely on a surface and then gluing them to the places where they fell down. (Before my Birth.) He also tried automatism (involuntary or unconscious action) in writing his poems.

On the outbreak of the WWI, Jean Arp settled in Zurich, Switzerland, where he was involved in the emerging Dada movement. During the 1920s he produced many abstract reliefs in wood, but after 1928 he worked increasingly in three dimensions, making sculptures'in the round'. These sculptures are simple, abstract shapes suggestive of organic forms found in nature. Arp's sculptures impressed the Surrealists, especially Joan Miró, and his influence is also evident in the work of Henry Moore.

In 1948 Jean Art published his memoirs On My Way.


Arp by Serge Fauchereau, Rizzoli. 1988

Jean Arp at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Henry Gelzaher. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1972

Hans Arp: the Poet of Dadaism by Rex William Last.

Hans Arp 1886-1966 by Hancock (Author), Stephanie Poley (Author) Publisher: Cambridge University Press; (September 1987)

The Early Sculpture of Jean Arp (Studies in the Fine Arts: the Avant Grade, No 65) by Margherita Andreotti. Umi Research Pr, 1989.

Arp by Serge Fauchereau. St Martins Pr, 1988.

German Dadaist literature: Kurt Schwitters, Hugo Ball, Hans Arp, (Twayne's world authors series, TWAS 272. German literature) by Rex William Last. Twayne Publishers, 1973.

Arp (Museum of Modern Art Publications in Reprint) by Museum of Modern Art, James T. Soby, Jean Hans Arp, Richard Huelsenbeck, Robert Melville. Ayer Company Publishers, 1986.