Henry Martin describes Arman as a ‘…virtuoso assembler and dimantler.’ Utilizing familiar objects, Arman presents them out of their expected context and recombines them in new, provocative ways.
With his diverse “vocabulary” of images and materials, which include such unusual things as rusted saxophones, automobile parts, broken dolls hands, busted violins, permanent press shirts, stainless steel teakettles, and even fresh garbage, Arman creates highly original works which are as interesting intellectually as they are visually.
Arman was born in Nice, France on November 17, 1928. He began painting under the guidance of his father at the age of ten, and then studied at Ecole de Louvre and Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs. He hitch-hiked with Yves Klein and Claude Pascall in Europe in 1947. He concentrated on Zen Buddhism and astrology from 1947 to 1953. He was an instructor in the Bushido Kai Judo School in Paris in 1951 and served in the French Army in 1952. He adopted the name Arman as a result of a printing error in 1958. He was an instructor at the University of California at Los Angeles from 1967 to 1968 and became a United States citizen in 1972. He works regularly in Paris and at his major studio and summer residence at Vence. He accumulates things like a surplus-parts dealer and freezes them in polyester. Very cool and a bit Dada, Arman’s accumulations deliberately arouse no emotions in their viewers, unless possibly pique. His work is found in collections, galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. Written and compiled by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California Sources include: Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters and Engravers, 1986-87 Contemporary Artists, 2nd Edition Time Magazine, May 14, 1965.
Died: 2005 New York