Arman - The Estate of Mrs. Harry N. Abrams New York Wednesday, April 7, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Lawrence, Paris

  • Catalogue Essay

    This work is recorded in the Arman Studio New York Archives under number: APA# 8203.63.020
    In 1961 Arman created his first “sliced” Tantrum pieces. These were organized deconstructions of which the present lot is a prime example, in which the artist slices a single object (in this case the violin) to create a new body of art whose forms mirror the lines of Bach’s score, all the while erasing any sign of the electric saw and creating a new vision of the original. The artist’s hand is quite clearly lying on the Dadaists of his past and legacy, and the Pop Artists of his contemporaries in his new terrain:
    As I evolved into object art, I found myself being called a Pop-Artist. But the terms isn’t exactly right. Pop-Artists redo the object. I use the real object. Marcel Duchamp, who is the obvious father of object art, might have taken a soup can and put it on a red pedestal. Warhol would repaint the soup can. Johns would cast it in bronze. I’d taken the soup can and cut it into pieces or weld hundreds of them together in order to change the state of the object from what it was when you first saw it in the supermarket. My interest is in exploring the various worlds of the object. (Arman, quoted in J. Robinson, The Mayor Gallery, 1989).
    After 1963, one sees a major shift in the work of Arman as the artist takes up permanent residence in New York amongst his Pop-Art contemporaries. His singular sculptures of broken down musical instruments give way to mass accumulations of industrial order- clock faces, steel bolts, and rulers become the artist’s new media. In this way the present lot represents the great body of work Arman created before his move to America, and signified a very early, important time period for the artist that remains at the core of his oeuvre.


Bach 2 Violin Concerto

Smashed violins on wood panel.
41 7/8 x 26 1/2 in. (106.4 x 67.3 cm).

Signed and dated “Arman 1963” lower right; signed and titled “Arman Bach 2 Violin Concerto” on the reverse. This work is unique.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $206,500

The Estate of Mrs. Harry N. Abrams

7 April 2010
New York