October 24, 2005

Half-hearted nostalgia for what was once new.

Isn't it funny how things like this seem quaint and old fashioned these days?
For a famous exhibition in 1960 at the Iris Clert Gallery in Paris he responded to Klein's exhibition "La Vide" ("The Void"), which consisted of an entirely empty gallery, by filling the gallery floor to ceiling with rubbish and calling it "Le Plein" ("Full Up").

Arman went on to create accumulations of all kinds of objects, from partly squeezed-out paint tubes immersed in cast plastic to a 106-foot-high stack of military vehicles embedded in concrete, in Beirut; called "Hope for Peace," that 1995 work was commissioned by the government of Lebanon. He made sculptures out of everything from buttons to typewriters, musical instruments, car parts and bicycles, and he manipulated them in all sorts of ways - sometimes violently, as in works that involved dissection, burning and exploding, and sometimes by creating elegantly patterned arrangements.
Well, it's not so cute when it's 106-foot permanent public art is it? I'd hate to have that "Hope for Peace" in my city. It must be the butt of jokes in the format "Hope for [blank]" with entries like: "Hope for that damned sculpture to get out of my city."

Anyway, RIP Arman.


Jeff said...

Your comment reminds me of Richard Serra's "Tilted Arc" and the resulting triumph of common sense and popular opinion over elitist foolishness disguised as good taste.

"Artist" Serra said it all: "Art is not democratic. It is not for the people."

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I was thinking about "Tilted Arc" when I wrote that. I've written about "Tilted Arc" on this blog three times.

Jeff said...

My bad!

miklos rosza said...

When Iris Clert asked Robert Rauschenberg to do a portrait of her he sent her a telegram which said: "This is a portrait of Iris Clert if I say it is."

Consequences followed.