BEING BEAUTEOUS (1989)
Arman – FR. / VS.
The sculpture ‘Being Beauteous’ is a textbook example of what Arman imagined with his accumulations. A seemingly ordinary object with a number of identical shapes, is transformed into one special work of art. For this the cello, favorite musical instrunment of his father, is the starting point. The art of repetition gives strength to this special artistic expression.
Arman is most associated with the Nouveau Réalisme (New Realism) movement that emerged in 1960, and which represented France’s response to the trend of Pop art that was sweeping Europe and the United States. Arman had first emerged as a lyrical abstract painter, but he soon rejected the style and began making sculpture inspired by the concept of the readymade. Arman’s most notable work was preoccupied with the consequences of mass production: his Accumulations often reflected on the identical character of modern objects; his Poubelles, or “trash cans,” considered the waste that results when these objects are discarded; and his Coleres, or “rages,” expressed an almost irrational rage at objects that, in modern times, threatened to dominate everyday life. At his best, Arman delivered a powerful and chilling rejection of modernization and the culture of mass consumption. Later, he developed an aesthetic based on the act of destruction, his pieces commemorating the obliteration objects in various ways.