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Lot 158*
Arman (French, 1928-2005) Luth Cascade
Sold for US$ 42,000 inc. premium
Lot Details
(n/a) Arman (French, 1928-2005)
Luth Cascade
signed and inscribed 'Arman 8/8' (on base)
bronze with light brown and black patina
height: 73.66 cm. (29 in.)
executed in 2000.


  • One of the most inventive artists of the late twentieth century, Arman, whose given name was Armand Pierre Fernandez, was born in Nice in 1928. As a child, he exhibited an early talent for painting and drawing, and developed a strong appreciation for the art of collecting and music, thanks in part to his parents, an antiques dealer and an amateur cellist. The young artist, inspired by Van Gogh, would sign his paintings with his only his first name, and a printer's misspelling in 1958 led him to adopt 'Arman' for the rest of his career.

    Following his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice, Arman moved to Paris to study art history at the Ecole du Louve, where the artist's early work was primarily composed of abstract paintings and inspired by cultural reviews. He often took part in road trips around Europe with his friends and fellow French artists, Yves Klein and Claude Pascale, and during this period, Arman cultivated a passion for Eastern philosophy, Chinese art, and Judo, even spending two years in Indochina as part of the French military.

    Arman had a landmark exhibition in 1960 at the Iris Clery Gallery in Paris entitled "Full Up," that filled the gallery with garbage, and this was followed in 1961 by another one of his artistic strategies, the "coléres - man-made objects he would smash and then reassemble - and the "coupes", or 'slicing' - objects he would cut apart and then display, much like in the present work, Luth Cascade. Moving to the Chelsea Hotel in 1967, Arman fell under the spell and energy of the New York City art scene, and there his projects became more ambitious and far-reaching with their use of found objects to create welded sculptures and installations. Having the distinction to be the first contemporary artist to receive commissions from the Renault car company, Arman displayed his collaboration consisting of motor parts at the 1970's World Fair in Osaka, Japan.

    Strongly inspired by the curvature of string instruments reminiscent of his early passion for music, Arman created numerous "coupes" of instruments including cellos and violins, and these have become his most widely known works. Arman's inventive eye and radical take on beauty helped to establish him as a creative force, from his small-scale works to giant installations in major cities across the globe. Although he passed in 2005, Arman's wild imagination and skilled craftsmanship lives on in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

    This item appears in the archives of Denyse Durand-Ruel under the number 9656 and will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonne in preparation by Durand-Ruel, Paris.
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