Biography

The artist and Nouveau Réaliste, Arman (1928 –2005), first created works made from the ink or paint traces of objects (“Cachets”) and then moved into making paintings composed of actual objects. Arman developed his most recognizable style between the years 1959 to 1962. It centered on his two most renowned concepts: “Accumulation” and “Poubelle” (“trash bin”). The “Accumulations” were collections of multiple common and identical objects and the “Poubelles” were collections of strewn refuse. 

Arman was an original founding member of Nouveau Réalism, an art movement started in France in 1960, dedicated to finding “…new ways of perceiving the real.”  The Nouveau Réalists were interested in radical approaches to the creation of their artworks which in the process also subverted the status quo. Along with the Accumulations and Poubelles, Arman was also known for his destruction/recomposition of ordinary objects, what he called "Coupes (cuts).” For this body of work Arman featured objects with a strong "identity" such as musical instruments, with the violin being his most famous subject matter.  Arman would transform these objects by slicing, smashing, or burning them in order to further activate their form, thereby presenting them in an entirely new state.