Galerie Daniel Templon is holding a solo exhibition of work by French artist Arman, whose relationship with the gallery began in 1974 and continued until his death in 2005. Focusing on Accumulations, one of the best known series produced by a leading figure of the Nouveau Réalisme movement, the show features around forty historical sculptures produced between 1960 and 1964. To mark the exhibition, the gallery is publishing a catalogue with a preface by Nicolas Bourriaud.
In his quest to construct an ‘archaeology of the present’, Arman created an artistic language that had a deep-reaching effect on contemporary art, with Accumulations introducing the principle of serialization as early as 1959. As Nicolas Bourriaud puts it, the founding tenet thus established evoked more than appropriation of the object; it spoke of the ‘catastrophe of quantity’ and ‘tragedy of abundance’.
The works are given the form of conventional paintings, their power as works of art stemming from the choice of objects, their colours and the variety of materials. The Accumulations explore the loss of individual identity and the neutralization of human interactions by consumer society, the violence of abundance and the aesthetics of rubbish, offering a ‘premonition’, as Nicolas Bourriaud terms it, of our post-industrial landscape. His pioneering work brings to mind the creations of his contemporary, Andy Warhol, while heralding the approach of a host of artists, including Damien Hirst, Thomas Hirschhorn, El Anatsui and Subodh Gupta.
Born in Nice in 1928, Arman lived and worked between Vence and New York. The Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris held a major retrospective of his work in 1998. The exhibition then travelled to Israel (Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, 1999), Brazil (Museo de Arte Moderna de Rio de Janeiro, 1999) and Iran (Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art, 2003). More recent major exhibitions of his work include a show at the Nice MAMAC (2006) and the Centre Pompidou (2010). His monumental pieces can be seen in over a hundred cities around the world, and his work features in the most prestigious international collections: Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris; MAMAC, Nice; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.