b. Nice, France, 17 November 1928 – d. New York, USA, 22 October 2005
Arman was one of the founding members of Nouveau Réalisme in 1960 along with Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Pierre Restany, and Jean Tinguely. Advocating the direct appropriation of the real, the Nouveaux Réalistes renewed the found object aesthetic that had begun with Marcel Duchamp’s readymades. In his famous Accumulations, Arman assembled collections of everyday objects, often identical, which he juxtaposed, methodically positioned, or encased in melted Plexiglas. Through these works, the artist questioned consumer society, mass production and the waste it produces. In 1961, Arman presented his work in NY for the first time, settling there permanently in 1963.
During Arman’s lifetime, a major retrospective of his work was held in 1998 at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris. More recently, the MAMAC in Nice (2006) and the Pompidou Centre in Paris (2010) presented important exhibitions of his work. His pieces are part of the permanent collections of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, amongst others.