Jean (Hans) Arp

Overturned Blue Shoe with Two Heels Under a Black Vault

ca. 1925

Jean Arp participated in Dada activities in Zurich in the 1910s; during the mid-1920s he allied himself to a certain extent with the Surrealists, sharing their faith in unfettered creativity, their celebration of spontaneity, and their antirational stance. He executed his first monochrome wood reliefs in 1914, adding the element of color two years later. Comprised of discrete wood forms mounted individually on wood supports, these reliefs are assembled like collages rather than carved. By combining aspects of painting, collage, and sculpture, the reliefs of the 1910s and 1920s served in some sense as a bridge to his sculpture in the round. Arp regarded his simplified forms as emblems of natural growth processes, and continued to make reliefs throughout his life. According to Arp, his works carried their own momentum and arrived at organic solutions subject as much to the laws of chance as to his conscious manipulations. He commented on the “ridiculous” analogies of forms that resulted from this process; his descriptive titles, such as that of the present work were often correspondingly whimsical.

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Artist Jean (Hans) Arp
Original Title Soulier bleu renversé à deux talons, sous une voûte noire
Date ca. 1925
Medium Painted wood
Dimensions 79.3 x 104.6 x 5 cm
Credit line Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)
Accession 76.2553 PG 53
Collection Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Type Sculpture

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