21-1/4 x 9-3/4 x 6-3/4 in.
Stamped on interior of base: [interlocking HA with H above the A]
Gift of Sylvia and Joseph Slifka
Estate of Syliva Slifka [Sylvia and Joseph Slifka]; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2004.
Hans (also known as Jean) Arp was one of the major leaders of abstract art in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. Raised by French and German parents, Arp developed a cosmopolitan perspective early on in his life. He worked in a number of different European countries over the course of his career, and developed close contacts with a variety of international avant-garde artists. Allied with groundbreaking movements such as Dada and Surrealism, Arp’s art embraced the power of the subconscious and laws of chance.
Arp developed a signature style known as biomorphic abstraction, in which curving shapes suggest a multiplicity of natural forms and convey a sense of growth and metamorphosis that is inherent in both plant and animal life. His abstraction was often laden with references to the human figure, as seen in the sculpture Figure recueillie that suggests a supple human torso that is curved in on itself, echoing the French title’s translation as “Self-absorbed.”
The undulating curves of Figure recueillie are emphasized by the liquid-like quality of polished bronze. Intended to be seen in the round, the sculpture’s forms seem to mutate as one contemplates it from different vantage points.
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