Born in Nice in 1928, Armand Pierre Fernandez showed a precocious talent for painting and drawing as a child. The son of an antiques dealer and amateur cellist, the artist absorbed an intense appreciation for music, the art of collecting and the cultivation of discriminating taste from an early age. After studies at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice, Arman decamped to Paris to study art history at the Ecole du Louvre. His work in these early years focused on abstract paintings inspired by the work of Nicolas de Staël. Inspired by Vincent van Gogh, he signed his early work with his first name only and, in 1958, he adopted the form of ‘Arman’ after a printer misspelled his name on the cover of a catalogue. An avid reader, Arman sought inspiration through books and art reviews, as well as during frequent road trips throughout Europe with his artist friends from Nice, Claude Pascale and Yves Klein. Both artists were to have a long and lasting influence and friendship with Arman; Klein was his son’s godfather and he co-founded the Nouveau Réalisme movement with Pascal in 1960. 

 

Arman was inspired to reject the lyrical abstraction of the period by an exhibition for Kurt Schwitters in 1954. He began working on Cachets, his first major artistic undertaking - these two-dimensional accumulations of stamps on paper and fabric proved a success and provided an important change of course for the young artist’s career. The Allures followed the Cachets and made use of actual objects instead of rubber stamps to produce the traces. By the late 1950’s, he had moved away from traditional painting and sculpture in favour of the object, specifically the ready-made, piling up identical salvaged things, modifying their meaning by repetition and giving the construction an ironic title.

 

From 1959-1962, Arman developed his most recognisable style, beginning with his two most renowned concepts: Accumulation and Poubelle. The Poubelles were random collections of rubbish from a garbage can displayed in a glass box, and the Accumulations were designs made up of a large assemblage of similar objects including combs, faucets, cogwheels, spoons and door handles. His first welded accumulations were created in 1962.

 

In 1960, Arman filled the Galerie Iris Clert, Paris, from floor to ceiling with refuse creating Le Plein (‘full up’). This was in response to Le Vide, Yves Klein’s installation of an empty room at the same gallery two years earlier, and was an important example of Environmental Art.

 

In 1961, Arman made his debut in the United States; during this period, he explored creation via destruction. These Coupes and Colères featured sliced, burned or smashes objects arranged on canvas, often using objects with a strong ‘identity’ such as musical instruments or bronze statues. Fascinated with the art scene in New York, Arman took up part-time residency in 1961, later taking American citizenship. There he began to work on large public sculptures, which were varied expansions of the Accumulations including tools, watches, clocks, furniture, automobile parts, jewellery and, of course, musical instruments in various stages of dismemberment. Musical instruments, specifically the strings and bronze, became a major avenue in Arman’s work. He was awarded numerous prizes and awards throughout his career.

 

Awards
Officier de la Légion d’Honneur
Grand Prix Marzotto
Commandeur des Arts et Lettres
Officier de l’Ordre National du Merite
Member of the Academia Brera

 

Public collections include
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Modern Art Museum, Münich
Musée d’Art Moderne, Gent
Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris
Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
Museo Civico di Torino, Turin
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis

 

Selected Recent Solo Exhibitions

2017, Arman: Emersions, Cardi Gallery, Milan

 

2016, ARMAN Accumulations 1960-1964, Galerie Templon, Paris

 

2014, Arman: Cascades, Galerie Guy Pieters, Saint Paul de Vence

 

2013, Arman: Cycles, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York; Arman The Collector: The Artist’s Collection of African American Art, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York,

 

2011, Arman, Musée Tinguely de Bâle, Bâle, Switzerland

 

2010, Arman, a retrospective, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Look Again, Marlborough, New York; Arman, La Petite Exposition, Vecchiato Art galleries, Padua

 

2008, Arman, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin; Arman: Polychromes Bronzes and Color Full Paintings, Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke-Le-Zoute, Belgium

 

2007, Arman. Polychromes, Imago Gallery, Palm Desert, CA, USA

 

2006, Arman: No Comment, Georges-Phillipe et Nathalie Vallois, Paris; Arman. Armand Fernandez, Yeh Gallery, Seoul, Korea; Hommage à Arman 1928-2005, Galleri GKM, Malmö, Sweden

 

2004, Arman: Peintures, Marlborough Gallery, Madrid and Monaco; Arman: Interactives and Serious Paintings, Imago Gallery, Palm Desert, California; Collection: Cavalleria Eroica, 1987 Erected by Jing An District People Government, Shanghai; Arman photographe, Theatre de la Photographie et de L'image, Nice; Arman: The Violence and the Number, Historial de la Grande Guerre, Peronne, France; Arman: Superposition, New Art: 38th Int'l Fair for Modern & Contemporary Art, Cologne; Arman: Opere Recenti, Centro d'Arte Cultura and Bugno Art Gallery, Venezia

 

2003, Arman: A Survey, Marlborough Gallery, New York; Arman: Centomilacenerentole, Dante Vecchiato Galleria d'Arte, Padova; Arman, Museum of Contemporary Art of Teheran, Teheran; Arman: Le plein de l'art, Galleria Fonte d'Abisso, Milano; Collection: Obelisk, 1983, (Towering accumulation of bronze cellos): Inducted into the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana

 

2002, Arman: Musique, Kunsthaus Grenchen, Grenchen, Switzerland; Arman: Africarmania, Arman et l'Afrique, Galerie Beaubourg, Vence, France; Arman: Dix Mots Pour, Sonia Zannettachi Gallery, Switzerland; Arman: Monumentale, Ville du Lavandou, Le Lavandou, France; Arman: Works on Paper, Villa Haiss Museum, Zell, Germany; Arman: Fragmentations, FIAC Galerie Beaubourg, Paris

 

2001, Arman, Fundaciò la Caixa, Barcelona; Arman, Zürichsee Auktionen, Erlenbach, Switzerland; Arman, Galerie Belmont, Films, Switzerland; Arman: Superpositions, Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium; Arman, Sandwich Combos, Malborough Gallery, New York; Arman: En tout cas c'est de l'art, Galleria Dante, Padova; Arman: La Traversée des Objets, Palazzo delle Zitelle, Venise; Arman: Vingt Stations de l'Objet, Chantier Naval Opéra, Antibes; Arman: Works on Paper, Vila Zanders Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany; Arman: Through and Across Objects, Bocca Raton, Florida; Arman: Des Cycles de la Vie, Galerie Anne Lettree, Luxembourg; Arman, Galeria De Arte Isabel Aninat, Santiago; Arman, Die Galerie, Zurich; Arman: Vingt Siécles vus par Arman, Exposition au Chantier Naval Opera, Port Vauban, Antibes

 

2000, Arman, Museo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexique; Racine carrée de fragments, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris; Arman, National Museum of History, Taipei, Chine; Reggio Emilia, Italie Anatomie del Tempo; Fragmentations, Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Pari; Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Allemage; Werke auf papier, Chateau Musée de Villeneuve; La Traversée des Objets, Vence, France; Vingt Siècles vus par Arman, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris, France

 

Selected Recent Group Exhibitions

2017, Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie, The Barnes Foundation

Philadelphia, PA

 

2016, Le Nouveau Realisme, Salle Jean Portal, Place Pasteur, Sainte-Maxime, France; Musicircus, Centre Pompidou-Metz, France; 

 

2015, Arts and Food, Fondazione La Triennale de Milano, Milan; Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector, Barbican Gallery, London

 

2014, Pop Culture: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton; Art or Sound, Fondazione Prada, Venice; Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-1960s, Guggenheu Museum, New York; Sacha Sosno & Les Ecoles de Nice, Musée Regards de Provence, Marseille; Helenna Rubentstein: Beauty is Power, The Jewish Museum, New York

 

2013, On The Road, Musée Labenche, Brive-la-Gaillarde, France; From Picasso to Koons: The Artist as Jeweler, Bass Museum of Art, Miami

 

2012, Piet and Ida Sanders. A Life with Art, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Le Nouveau Realisme, Luxembourg and Daya, London; Matter, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York; The Small Utopia: Ars Multiplicata, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy

 

2011, 50 Artists: A Collection, Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence, France

 

2010, Look Again, Marlbouough Gallery, New York; New Realisms: 1957-1962, Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid

 

2008, The Flowers of Evil Still Bloom, Cueto Project Gallery, New York

 

2006, Les inédits: Collection de Jean Ferrero, La Malmaison, Cannes, France

 

2003, The Artful Teapot 20th Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection, Fauchon; Traveling Exhibition, North America; Nouveaux realists et de l’object, Musée d’Art Contemporain Val de Marne/Vitry, France; Tools as Art, DeCordova Museum, Massachusetts; A Happening Place, The Galleries at the JCC’s Gershman Y, Philadelphia; Le Galerie de l’Audition, Au Virgin Café des Champs Elysees; Audika, Paris

 

2002, $how Me the Money: The Dollar as Art, Naples Museum of Art, Florida; The Artful Teapot 20th Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection, Fauchon,; Traveling Exhibition, North America; Faces Off, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, Purchase, New York; Arte Multipla, Galleria 111, May 4th, 2002 Lisboa; From Pop to Now: Selections from the Sonnabend Collection, The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York; Pianos Année Zero Cité de la Musique, Paris

 

2001, D'Après I'Antique, The Louvre Museum, Paris; L’art a la Plage, Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris; The Climax - An Exclamation of 21 st Century, Modern Art Gallery, Taichung, Taiwan

 

2000, Marlborough, Monaco