Arman, born Armand Fernandez on November 17, 1928 in Nice and died in New York on October 22, 2005, was a French-American artist, painter, sculptor and visual artist, known for his "accumulations". He was one of the first to use directly, as a pictorial material, manufactured objects, which represented for him the multiple and infinite extension...
Arman, born Armand Fernandez on November 17, 1928 in Nice and died in New York on October 22, 2005, was a French-American artist, painter, sculptor and visual artist, known for his "accumulations". He was one of the first to use directly, as a pictorial material, manufactured objects, which represented for him the multiple and infinite extensions of the hand of man who undergo a continuous cycle of production, consumption, and destruction.
The only son of Antonio Fernandez, a merchant of furniture and antiquities, of Spanish origin having lived in Algeria, and of Marguerite Jacquet, born of a family of farmers of the Loire, the young Armand shows very early provisions for the Drawing and painting.
After his baccalauréat, he studied at the School of Decorative Arts of Nice (today the Villa Arson), then at the school of the Louvre. He met Yves Klein and Claude Pascal at the judo school they attended in Nice in 1947. With these two friends, he was interested for a time in Oriental philosophies and Rosicrucian theory.
At the end of 1957, Arman, who signed his works of his first name as a tribute to Van Gogh, decided to abandon Armand's "d" and officialized his artist's signature in 1958 during an exhibition at Iris Clert.
In October 1960 he made the exhibition "Le Plein" where he filled the gallery of Iris Clert with scrap items and contents of selected trash cans. This exhibition is the counterpoint of the exhibition "Le Vide" organized two years earlier at the same gallery by his friend Yves Klein.
Always the same month, under the supervision of the art critic Pierre Restany, Arman becomes, along with Yves Klein, one of the founding members of the Nouveaux Réalistes group (proclaimed by Restany: "new perceptual approaches to reality" Including François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and Jacques Villeglé, later joined by César, Mimmo Rotella, Niki de Saint Phalle and Gerard Deschamps.
At work, in his studio in Vence, 1989.
From 1961, Arman developed his career in New York, where he lived and worked half his time, alternating with his life in Nice until 1967, then in Vence until his death. In New York, he first stayed at the Chelsea Hotel until 1970, then in a loft in the SoHo district and, from 1985, in his building at TriBeCa, where he died in 2005.
After his death in New York, part of his ashes was taken back to Paris in 2008 to be buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery.
All his life Arman was also a passionate collector of everyday objects (watches, weapons, pens ...) and objects of art, especially of traditional African art of which he was a connoisseur, appreciated and recognized specialist.