Jean Arp

Hans Jean Arp or ( born September 16, 1886 in Strasbourg as Hans Peter Wilhelm Arp, † June 7, 1966 in Basel ) was a German - French painter, sculptor, and poet. He is considered one of the most important representatives of Dadaism and Surrealism in the visual arts and literature. He was a member of the group Abstraction- Création.



Hans Arp was born in 1886 as son of the German cigar manufacturer Wilhelm Arp and his wife Lilly Alsatian in time to the German Empire belonging to Strasbourg in Alsace; his native language was German, but he also learned very early the French language. In his youth he was interested mainly for the German Romantic poets like Novalis, Clemens Brentano and Ludwig Tieck, as well as French poets like Arthur Rimbaud and the Comte de Lautréamont. The sons of his sister Kate are the singer Udo Jürgens and the painter and photographer Manfred Bockelmann.


From 1904 to 1908 Arp studied Fine Art at the Art School of Weimar and at the Académie Julian in Paris, he left disappointed because the conventional teaching methods. From 1909 he lived because his father had moved in 1907 his factory to Weggis, in the canton of Lucerne. In 1911 he was co-founder of the artists' association Modern Nations. He learned Wassily Kandinsky know and tied him contacts to the group Der Blaue Reiter.


1915 were first issued in Zurich Arps abstract works. In 1916 he illustrated Tristan Tzara's poetry collection 25 poems. About Tzara, he met Hugo Ball and Richard Huelsenbeck, with whom he founded in 1916, Dada in Zurich. From 1916 he was friends with the artist and textile designer Sophie Taeuber. They began to exchange ideas and to work together with respect to the renewal of art. Arp led Taeuber into the circle of the Dadaists, in their events they participated actively. 1919 Hans Arp moved to Cologne and became friends with Max Ernst and Johannes Theodor Baargeld. With these he founded the Cologne Dada; together they gave out the Marxist -oriented journal The fan. In 1920, Arp attended the First International Dada Fair in Berlin Galerie Otto Burchard and published under the mediation of Kurt Schwitters the poetry book The Wolkenpumpe, whose poems Arp referred to as text collages. In them, the coincidence was a key design principle.

1922 married Sophie Taeuber Arp. Individually and together they created many works. 1923 Arp began working more closely with Schwitters. In the same year he moved to Paris, where he took part in a group exhibition of Surrealist artists and became a member of the Abstraction-Création group. Arp had close contact with the international avant-garde artists such as Kasimir Malevich and El Lissitzky. Together with Lissitzky 1925 he published the book The Kunstismen. 1926, the Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg was invited by Mr. and Mrs. Arp, working under the Aubette project in Strasbourg - it was about the transformation of the interior decoration of a cafe. Even the couple Arp exerted a major influence on the style of Hard Edge. The abstract American artist Ellsworth Kelly had visited many times in Paris, and the two dominated much of his early development to want to make an impersonal, non- individual art. That same year, Arp moved to Meudon near Paris, where he took on July 20, 1926, the French nationality.


1940 were classified by the Nazis as degenerate art Arps works. Arp moved into the unoccupied part of France. Now poems he wrote mostly in French. He had no studio and had as a painter and sculptor necessarily operate with lightweight, portable and inexpensive materials, the dessins aux doigts (finger drawings) and the paper came froissés ( Crumpled papers ). With contributions from Maja Sacher and other patrons Arp was kept afloat.

Sophie Taeuber -Arp died in the night January 13, 1943 in Zurich to carbon monoxide poisoning. Arp took years to recover from this loss and Sophie devoted many of his works. Along with Georg Schmidt, he was working on a monograph on her work. 1949 Arp traveled to the USA, where his art thanks to the help of the gallerist Curt Valentin had increasing success. Since the majority of its buyers now lived there, thought Arp whether he should emigrate; but he decided against it at the end.

From 1950 Arp designed several large sculptures for the universities of Harvard and Caracas and the UNESCO building in Paris. Arp 1952 traveled to Rome and Greece and got there new ideas for sculptural works (eg Cobra Centaur ), for which he was awarded the 1954 International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale.


The now internationally successful artist Arp in 1957 dedicated the first comprehensive monograph. 1958 organized a comprehensive retrospective of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Arp took part in documenta 1 in 1955, the documenta II in 1959 and the documenta III in 1964. His art was now so popular that he was able to employ staff.

1959 Arp married his longtime girlfriend, Marguerite Hagenbach. He died in 1966 in Basel. His grave is in the cemetery of the church of Santa Maria in Selva in Locarno. In the Museo Comunale Casa Rusca of Locarno, is the second wife donated by Arp Arp's estate. In addition to works of the artist himself the estate also includes Arp's private art collection.

Fondation Arp

The Fondation Arp is located in the Sophie Taeuber in 1929 designed the former studio home of Arps in Clamart. Sophie Taeuber lived in this studio house until her death.

The house with a rich collection of works by Hans Arp and Sophie Taueber is a foundation of Marguerite Hagenbach from the year 1976. Through the years the collection has been extended by other foundations. Noteworthy is the studio Arps, where he has made ​​the plaster for casts to be made. Issued there are 114 statues and 32 reliefs which had been confiscated in 1996 by the French customs. After a first exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, this collection is housed in Clamart since December 2006. A library is available to Fondation Arp.

Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck

The Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck is operated by the National Foundation Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck based in Remagen- Rolandseck. It was opened on September 29, 2007. It presents in the building of the railway station Rolandseck and in a new building by Richard Meier works by Hans Arp and Sophie Taeuber -Arp from the possession of the state of Rhineland- Palatinate. Before the opening of the museum, there was discussion as in some of the objects on display in the museum, which was controversial from portfolios of the association, also based in Rolandseck Hans Arp and Sophie Taeuber -Arp Foundation eV, whether it is by Arp is itself authorized works or later recasts and replicas.

The Land Rheinland-Pfalz also accused the club before breach of contract because he had some works that were intended for the exhibition business sold. In the summer of 2008, the country announced on cooperation.

Fondazione Marguerite Arp - Hagenbach

The Foundation, based in the former home and studio Ronco dei Fior Hans Arp in Locarno- Solduno was founded in 1988 by Marguerite Arp - Hagenbach. Since 2000, the Fondazione cooperating with the Foundation Liner in Appenzell. The aim of the cooperation is the preservation of the Fondazione Arp in its present form, regular exhibitions of works by Arp and Sophie Taeuber in Appenzell and the promotion of their works worldwide. The house has a sculpture garden.


Works of visual art


Wolkenhirt (1953)

Berger de nuages ​​(1953 )

Feuille se reposant (1959 )

Clouds shell ( 1961)

Moving Tanzgeschmeide (1960/1970)

" Roue Oriflamme " / " Gold Flaming Wheel" (1962 ) on the Monte Verità

Key of hours club (1962/1974)

Poetic works

  • The clouds pump. The Silbergäule. Hannover 1920.
  • The pyramid rock. Erlenbach - Zurich in 1924.
  • Poetry: You know Schwarzt du adhesive Five Paintings by Max Ernst. Pra, Zurich 1930.
  • Configuration. Grammar & Co. Paris 1930.
  • Sinnende flames. Zurich in 1961.
  • Logbook of the Captain's dream. Zurich 1965.
  • L'Ange et la Rose. Forqualquier 1965.
  • Collected Poems 1903-39. 3 volumes. In collaboration with the author, edited by Marguerite Arp - Hagenbach and Peter Schifferli. Ark, Zurich 1963.


  • Hans Arp u.El Lissitzky: The Kunstismen. Rentsch, Erlenbach - Zurich in 1925. Reprint Müller, Baden, 1990, ISBN 3-906700-28-3
  • New French painting. Einf. by L. H. Neitzel. Leipzig 1931.
  • Our daily dream. Memories, seals and observations from the years 1914 to 1954. Zurich in 1955.
  • Jours effeuillés. Poèmes, Essais, souvenirs 1920-1965. Preface de Marcel Jean. Paris 1966.