Arp's Nature at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice presents an exhibition dedicated to the role of nature in Arp's art from April 13 to September 2, 2019.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice will host the exhibition Arp’s Nature dedicated to the Franco-German artist Jean Hans Arp from April 13 to September 2, 2019.

The exhibition, curated by Catherine Craft and organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, aims to present his artistic production based on a radical rethinking of traditional art forms. Throughout his career, Arp made numerous works in various materials and formats, particularly sculpture, but he also made drawings, prints, textiles, collages, and painted reliefs.

A founder of the Dada movement and pioneer ofabstraction, he developed a language of organic, curvilinear forms that moved fluidly between abstraction and representation. The artist is linked to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection because the first work purchased by the American collector was the sculpture Head and Shell, executed in 1933.

Peggy later added sculptures, collages, reliefs, and works on paper to her collection, so there are seven works by Arp belonging to the Venetian museum, all of which are on display for this exhibition. The bond between Arp and Peggy Guggenheim continued with the display of his works in several exhibitions of contemporary sculpture organized by her: in her London gallery Guggenheim Jeune in 1938 and in 1944 in her gallery-museum Art of This Century in New York; in 1954 Arp was also awarded the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the XXVII Venice Biennale, and during the 1950s he stayed in the lagoon several times visiting Peggy.

Arp’sNature will exhibit at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni more than seventy of Arp’s works, including sculptures in plaster, wood, bronze and stone, painted wood reliefs, collages, drawings, textiles and illustrated books, from major U.S. and European museums, foundations and private collections. Among these works are Plant-Martel (Earth Forms), 1916, from the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands, Sculpture to be Lost in the Forest (Sculpture of Three Forms), 1932 from the Tate Modern in London, Two Thoughts on a Navel (Sculpture of Three Forms), 1932, from the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg, and Three Annoying Objects on a Face, 1930 from the Museum Jorn in Silkeborg.

The title of the exhibition refers to the important role of nature in Arp’s art: it focuses on the processes of nature, from growth to gravity, from decay to chance. In nature he finds a wiser and more constructive force than human arrogance.

Arp’s Nature is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and Pro Helvetia, Swiss Cultural Foundation and supported by Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger, Charlene and Tom Marsh, and the Ruthie and Jay Pack Family Foundation.

For info:

Image: Jean (Hans) Arp, Head and Shell (c. 1933; brass; Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection) © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / © Jean Arp, by SIAE 2019

Arp's Nature at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice
Arp's Nature at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice

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