(Armand Pierre Fernandez) Arman

* 17 11 1928 | Nizza (France)
† 22 10 2005 | New York (USA)

He is one of the great revolutionaries of post-war art. Arman, actually Armand Pierre Fernandez, is one of the co-founders of the group of Nouveaux Réalistes. He secured his place in the history of art with his Accumulations: the accumulation of objects like jugs, cutlery, cogs, ampoules, gas masks, hair clips, pint tubes or brushes into relief-like arrangements in Plexiglas boxes.


Works by (Armand Pierre Fernandez) Arman

Vita (Armand Pierre Fernandez) Arman

1928

Born on 17 November as Armand Pierre Fernandez in Nice.

1946–49

After completing his school-leaving examinations with a focus on philosophy, he is accepted to study philosophy at the École des arts décoratifs in Nice.

1947

He meets Yves Klein and Claude Pascal in a judo club. He undertakes a journey through Europe with them, visiting Belgium, Germany, England, Italy, Sweden and Spain.

1949

Studies Archaeology and Oriental Art at the École du Louvre, Paris.

1951

Encounter with the French art critic Pierre Restany.

1952

He is  conscripted into the military on 24 April and is stationed in Fréjus, where he is assigned to the medical service.

1953

Marriage with Éliane Radigue, with whom he has three children and remains with until 1970.

He is freed from his military service obligations and returns to Nice.

1954

The artist sees and is impressed by works of Kurt Schwitters.

1956

Exhibition in the Paris Galerie du Haut Pavé together with Bernard Jeaume. Here he shows his first Cachets.

1957

He travels in Turkey and Afghanistan.

First solo exhibition in the Galerie La Roue. He assumes the artist name Arman due to a printing error in an invitation card of the Galerie Iris Clert.

1958

He works on the Allures d’Objects, imprints of dyed objects on canvas or paper.

Travel to Iran via Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey.

1959

The first Accumulation is created. This will become typical of his artistic work. These are accumulations of everyday objects of the same kind in Plexiglas containers. He also works on the Poubelles with the contents of bins and wastebaskets.

Exhibition of his works in the Galleria Apollinaire in Milan.

1960

He is the co-founder of the Les Nouveaux Réalistes movement. The Galerie Iris Clert shows the exhibition Le Plein, for which the artist fills the space with a mountain of rubbish.

Through Yves Klein’s brother-in-law, Günther Uecker, he comes into contact with the Düsseldorf-based ZERO artist group with Heinz Mack and Otto Piene.

1961

First solo exhibition in New York. Arman begins his work on the Coupes, objects cut into slices, and the Colères, objects that have been torn apart or trampled upon.

1963

He establishes a second place of residence in New York. First Combustions, burned objects, are created.

1964

Participation in documenta III in Kassel.

1966

First Accumulations of paint tubes in Plexiglas are created.

1967

Arman begins teaching at the University of California in Los Angeles, which he continues to do until the spring of 1968.

1968

Participation in the Biennale di Venezia and in documenta 4 in Kassel.

1971

Marriage with Corice Canton.

1975

Travel to Egypt.

1976

Arman creates an environment for the Biennale di Venezia.

He travels to the People’s Republic of China and visits Moscow.

1982

The sculpture entitled Long Term Parking is created; an 18-metre-high tower, into which sixty cars have been cast.

1984

He receives the commission for an Accumulation of two hundred French flags in bronze for the Hall of Honour of the Élysée Palace.

1988

He visits Venice, Alexandria and Athens.

1989

Is made a Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour by French President François Mitterrand.

1991

Portraits of famous composers result from assemblies of music instruments.

1993

Acceptance to the Ordre national de Mérite.

2005

He dies on 22 October in New York.

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