(FRENCH, 1928–2005)

La Libellule, 1996
patinated bronze and gold leaf on steel
89 x 64 x 33 inches
Loan courtesy Arman

Arman is known for his use of found objects, cast in bronze and then assembled in new ways. His accumulations suggest that art is made from the everyday stuff of life, thereby confusing the terms of high versus low. Suturing together propeller blades and a voluptuous bronze female figure, Arman’s La Libellule, 1996, is simultaneously a dragonfly, wood nymph and science experiment gone awry. Arman deconstructs the figure to expose its interior and exterior forms, La Libellule is an erotic sculptural collage that both amuses and horrifies.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Look, But Do Not Touch


Arman (Armand Fernandez) was born in 1928 in Nice, France, to an antiques dealer and cellist. He studied at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice in 1946 through 1949 and art history at École du Louvre in Paris in 1949 through 1951. Arman was influenced by the Dadists and was part of the New Realism Movement along with Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely and Martial Raysse. His works ranged from paintings to sculptures to accumulations of found objects—varying from instruments, clocks and brushes to trophies. He began exhibiting throughout Paris and Europe in the 1950s. Arman participated in Documenta 3 in 1964 and Documenta 6 in 1977 in Kassel, Germany. His work is in collections throughout the world including the Tate Gallery, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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