Curated by: Catherine Craft
"La natura di Arp", curated by Catherine Craft and organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas , the first exhibition venue of the exhibition, is a suggestive and long-awaited reading of the production of the Franco-German artist Jean (Hans) Arp (1886– 1966), whose experimental approach to creation and the radical rethinking of traditional art forms made him one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.
Over the course of a career spanning six decades, Arp creates a body of works of considerable influence in a wide range of materials and formats. Founder of the Dada movement and pioneer of abstraction, he develops a language of organic and curvilinear forms that move with fluidity between abstraction and representation, becoming a reference point for generations of artists.
The exhibition brings to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni over 70 works, including sculptures in plaster, wood, bronze and stone, painted wood reliefs, collages, drawings, fabrics and illustrated books, coming from important American and European museums, foundations and private collections.
Arp occupies a particularly prominent place in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The first work ever purchased by the American collector was in fact one of her sculptures, Head and shell (Tête et coquille) from 1933. "The first thing I bought for my collection was a bronze by Jean Arp. [Arp] took me to the foundry where it had been melted and I fell in love with it so much that I asked to be able to hold it in my hands: at the same moment I felt it I wanted to be its owner ", remembers Peggy Guggenheim in her autobiography, A life for art (Rizzoli Editori, Milan, 1998 ). The patron continued with great enthusiasm to add sculptures, collages, reliefs and works on paper to her collection, and today there are seven works by Arp in the collection of the Venetian museum, all on display for the exhibition. Similarly, in 1967 Patsy Nasher bought an Arp bronze for her husband Raymond's birthday, Torso con Sprouts (1961), and just like in the case of Peggy Guggenheim, sculpture became the founding work of their well-known collection of modern sculpture.