arp: A Critical Survey

Tuesday 29 May 2012

18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

two of Arp's biomorphic bronze sculptures on front cover of book

Speaker(s): include Dr Arie Hartog (Director of the Gerhard-Marcks Haus, Bremen), Professor Eric Robertson (Royal Holloway, University of London), Professor Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Chair: Professor Chris Green (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission. The online booking system is now closed. Please email if you want a place. There may also be places on arrival.

Organised by: The Courtauld Institute of Art and the Stiftung Hans Arp & Sophie Taueber-Arp e.V.

Arp: A Critical Survey, published by Hatje Cantz on 15 May 2012, focuses on the sculpture of German-French sculptor and poet Hans Arp (1886–1966), one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.

The book delivers verifiable scholarly data on the breadth of Hans Arp’s sculptural oeuvre. For the first time in its history the Arp Foundation has opened up its archives and enabled a reconstruction of posthumous processes around Arp’s sculptures. The Critical Survey is the necessary first step towards the eventual publication of a new catalogue raisonné and answers fundamental questions concerning editions, forgeries and casting rights. Independent research for the Critical Survey has been edited by Arie Hartog, Director of the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus in Bremen and specialist in twentieth century sculpture.

To launch the publication a panel of experts will discuss the issues raised by the book, including wider discussions around sculptural production and questions of authentication.

Christopher Green is Professor Emeritus in the history of European and American art and architecture of the twentieth century at The Courtauld Institute of Art. He is an international authority on the European avant-gardes and has written ground-breaking studies on its leading figures and movements. His numerous publications include Cubism and its Enemies: Modern Movements and Reaction in French Art (1916-1928) (1987), Art in France, 1900-1940 (2000) and Picasso: Architecture and Vertigo (2005), all with Yale University Press. As a curator, he has worked on the highly influential exhibitions Abstraction: Towards a New Art (The Tate Gallery, 1980), Le Corbusier: Architect of the Century (Hayward Gallery, 1987), Juan Gris (The Whitechapel Art Gallery, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart & the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 1992-93), Art Made Modern: Roger Fry’s Vision of Art (The Courtauld Gallery, 1999-2000), Jungles in Paris: The Paintings of Henri Rousseau (Tate Modern, London/Musée d’Orsay, Paris/National Gallery, Washington D.C, 2005-06) and The Spanish Line: from Ribera to Picasso (The Courtauld Gallery, 2011-12). Most recently, he co-curated Mondrian/Nicholson in Parallel (The Courtauld Gallery, 2012) and contributed his expertise to the ongoing exhibition Picasso and Modern British Art (Tate Britain, 2012).

Arie Hartog was born in 1963 in Maastricht and is a specialist in figurative sculpture. He studied History of Art at the catholic university Nijmegen, where he completed his doctorate in 1989 on the topic of modern German figurative sculpture. As Director of the Gerhard-Marcks Haus, Arie Hartog has established his reputation as a leading curator of exhibitions on twentieth-century sculpture. He has written extensively on twentieth and twenty-first century art and has published several texts, including a catalogue raisonné of Rainer Fetting and Waldemar Otto. Hartog has shown a special interest for artists who have been working outside general trends and who developed their own visual language such as Karl Appel, Reg Butler, Rainer Fetting, Bruno Gironcoli, Waldemar Grzimek, David Nash, Joseph Semah and Shinkichi Tajiri.

Eric Robertson is Professor of Modern French Literary and Visual Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Arp: Painter, Poet, Sculptor (Yale University Press, 2006), which was awarded the R. H. Gapper Book Prize. Recent work on Arp includes chapters in Hans Arp: Die Natur der Dinge (Rolandseck 2008),  Art is Arp (Strasbourg 2009), and Arp en ses ateliers d'art et d'écriture, ed. Aimée Bleikasten (Strasbourg 2011). In addition to various articles and chapters on modern French poetry and visual arts, he has authored Writing Between the Lines: René Schickele (1995) and co-edited Yvan Goll - Claire Goll: Texts and Contexts (1997), Robert Desnos: Surrealism in the Twenty-First Century (2006), Dada and Beyond: Dada Discourses (2011) and Dada and its Legacies (2012 forthcoming). He recently completed a book on Blaise Cendrars and the visual arts.

Sarah Wilson is Professor in the history of modern and contemporary art at The Courtauld Institute of Art. She currently holds a chaire d’excellence at the Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin (2012-3) and was a Visiting Professor at Paris-IV Sorbonne in 2002-4. She is a specialist on European and contemporary art, with an emphasis on Paris and Russia, and has published throughout her career with Centre Georges Pompidou. She was principal curator of Paris, Capital of the Arts, 1900- 1968 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2001-2) and curator of Pierre Klossowski and The Vicious Circle (London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery, 2006, with Cologne and Paris venues). The Visual World of French Theory: Figurations, was published in 2010; its sequel, Interventions, and Picasso/Marx are in preparation. Her writings on female artists include several catalogues on the English painter and sculptor, Paule Vézelay the close friend of Hans Arp and Sophie Tauber before 1939 and a frequent summer visitor to Ascona where she worked with Arp after the war. Paule Vézelay/Hans Arp. The Enchantments of Purity, was published by the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, in 1995.

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