Arman (November 17, 1928 – October 22, 2005) was a French-born American artist.[1] Born Armand Fernandez in Nice, France, Arman is a painter who moved from using objects for the ink or paint traces they leave ("cachet", "allures d'objet") to using them as the painting itself. He is best known for his "accumulations" and destruction/recomposition of objects.

Arman's father, Antonio Fernandez, an antiques dealer in Nice, was also an amateur artist, photographer, and cellist. From his father, Arman learned oil painting and photography. After receiving his bachelor's degree in philosophy and mathematics in 1946, Arman began studying at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice. He also started judo at a police school in Nice where he met Yves Klein and Claude Pascal. The trio bonded closely on a subsequent hitch-hiking tour around Europe.

Completing his studies in 1949, Arman enrolled as a student at the École du Louvre in Paris, where he concentrated on the study of archaeology and oriental art. In 1951, he became a teacher at the Bushido Kai Judo Club in Madrid. During this time he also served in the French military, completing his tour of duty as a medical orderly during the Indo-China War.

Early career
Early on, it was apparent that Arman's concept of the accumulation of vast quantities of the same objects was to remain a significant component of his art. Ironically, he had originally focused more attention on his abstract paintings, considering them to be of more consequence than his early accumulations of stamps. Only when he witnessed viewer reaction to his first accumulation in 1959 did he fully recognize the power of such art. In 1962, he began welding together accumulations of the same kinds of metal objects, such as axes (as pictured below).

Avalanch (1990), Tel Aviv University campus.
Inspiration and name change[edit]
Inspired by an exhibition for the German Dadaist, Kurt Schwitters, in 1954, Arman began working on "Cachets," his first major artistic undertaking. At his third solo exhibition, held in Paris's Galerie Iris Clert in 1958, Arman showed some of his first 2D accumulations he called "cachets." These stamps on paper and fabric proved a success and provided an important change of course for the young artist's career.

At the time, he was signing with his first name as an homage to Van Gogh, who also signed his works with his first name, "Vincent." And, thus, in 1957, Arman chose to change his name from Armand to Arman. On January 31, 1973, upon becoming a citizen of the United States, he took the American civil name, Armand Pierre Arman.[2] Nevertheless, he continued to use "Arman" as his public persona.

Evolution of work

Arman in front of one of his Accumulations (1969)
From 1959 to 1962, Arman developed his most recognizable style, beginning with his two most renowned concepts: "Accumulation" and "Poubelle" (French for "trash bin"). Accumulations were collections of common and identical objects which he arranged in polyester castings or within Plexiglas cases. His first welded accumulations were created in 1962.[2]

The "Poubelles" were collections of strewn refuse. In 1960, he filled the Galerie Iris Clert in Paris with garbage, creating "Le Plein" ("Full Up") as a counterpoint of the exhibition called "Le Vide" at the same gallery two years earlier by his friend Yves Klein. These works began to garner the attention of the European art community.

In October 1960, Arman, Yves Klein, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and Jacques Villeglé, and art critic and philosopher Pierre Restany founded the Nouveau réalisme group. Joined later by Cesar, Mimmo Rotella, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Christo, the group of young artists defined themselves as bearing in common their "new perspective approaches of reality." They were reassessing the concept of art and the artist for a 20th-century consumer society by reasserting the humanistic ideals in the face of industrial expansion.

In 1961, Arman made his debut in the United States, the country which was to become his second home. During this period, he explored creation via destruction. The "Coupes" and the "Colères" featured sliced, burned, or smashed objects arranged on canvas, often using objects with a strong "identity" such as musical instruments (mainly violins and saxophones) or bronze statues.

Arman and Warhol
Arman can be seen in Andy Warhol's film Dinner at Daley's, a documentation of a dinner performance by the Fluxus artist Daniel Spoerri that Warhol filmed on March 5, 1964. Throughout the portrait-screen-test film, Arman sits in profile, looking down, appearing to be entranced in his reading, seemingly unaware of Warhol's camera, only making small gestures, rubbing his eyes, and licking the corner of his mouth. He remained silent, eyes gazing over the pages of what seemed to be a newspaper, in this four-minute, 16mm black-and-white reel. Warhol owned two of Arman's Poubelles and another accumulation called Amphetamines, which were sold at Sotheby's auction of the Andy Warhol Collection in May 1988.

Eros, Inside Eros, bronze of 1986, in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Move to New York City
Fascinated with the scene in New York, Arman took up part-time residency there, from his home in Nice, in 1961, after his first exhibition at the Cordier Warren Gallery. In the city, he met Marcel Duchamp at a dinner given by the artist and collector William Copley. First living at the Chelsea Hotel and later in Church street while keeping a studio in Bowery, then in TriBeCa, Arman began work on large public sculptures. There were varied expansions of the accumulations, their content included tools, watches, clocks, furniture, automobile parts, jewelry, and, of course, musical instruments in various stages of dismemberment. Musical instruments, specifically the strings[3] and bronze, through his collaboration with a foundry in Normandy, France, became a major avenue in Arman's work.

Of Arman's accumulations, one of the largest is Long Term Parking,[4][5] which is on permanent display at the Château de Montcel in Jouy-en-Josas, France. Completed in 1982, the sculpture is an 18-meter (60-ft.) high accumulation of 60 automobiles embedded in over 18,000 kg (40,000 lbs.) of concrete. Just as ambitious was the 1995 work Hope for Peace,[6] which was specially commissioned by the Lebanese government to commemorate 50 years of the Lebanese military's service. Standing in once war-torn Beirut, the 32-meter (105-ft.) monument consists of 83 tanks and military vehicles.

Personal life
In 1953, Arman married electronic music composer Eliane Radigue and had two daughters, Marion (1951) and Anne (1953) and one son, Yves Arman (1954–1989). In 1971, he married Corice Canton, with whom he had one daughter, Yasmine (1982) and one son, Philippe (1987). In 1989, he had his sixth and last child, Yves Cesar Arman, son of Carrole Cesar.

After Arman's death in New York in 2005, part of his ashes were buried at the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris in 2008.

Selected exhibitions and awards
Arman, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland
Arman, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Arman, Museum Hans Lange, Krefeld, Germany
Arman, Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium
Arman, Musée de la Ville, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
Arman, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
Arman: Accummulations Renault(traveling exhibition); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland
Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France; *Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Humlebaek, Denmark; *Kunsthalle, Berlin, Germany; *Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; *Städtische Kuntsammlungen, Ludwigshafen, Germany
Kunsthaus, Zürich, Switzerland; *Amos Anderson Taidemuseo, Helsinki, Helsingfors, Finland
Arman, Modern Art Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
Arman, Salles romanes du Cloître Saint-Trophime, Musée Réattu, Arles, France Arman: Selected Works 1958-1974, La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, California; *Fort Worth Art Museum, Texas
Arman: Objets Armés 1971-1974, Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
Arman, Artcurial auction house, Paris, France
Arman: Paintings and Sculptures, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Kansas
Arman, Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium
Arman: Rétrospective, Centre d'Art et de Culture, Flaine, France
Arman, Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium
Arman, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany
Arman: Parade der Objekte: Retrospektive 1955-1982, *Kuntsmuseum, Sammlung Sprengel, Hanover, Germany; *Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany; *Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; *Kuntshalle, Tübingen, Germany; *Musée Picasso, Château Grimaldi, Antibes, France; *Musée d'Art Contemporain Dunkerque, France
Arman o L’Oggetto come Alfabeto: Retrospettiva 1955-1984, Museo Civico delle Belle Arti, Lugano, Switzerland
Arman, Museo d'Arte Moderna, Parma, Italy
Arman, Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan; Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea Arman Aujourd’hui, Musée de Toulon, France
Arman: Retrospective, Wichita State University, Ulrich Museum of Art, Kansas Arman, Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium
Arman in Italy, Fondazione Mudima, Milan, Italy
Arman Sculpture, Contemporary Sculpture Center, Tokyo, Japan
Arman: A Retrospective 1955 - 1991, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; The Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan
Il Giro di Arman, Associazione Culturale Italo-Francese, Bologna, Italy
Le Ceramica di Arman, Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza, Faenze, Italy
Arman, Musée Royal de Mariemont, Mariemont-Chapelle, Belgium
Arman: The Exhibition of International Sculpture Master, Modern Art Gallery, Taichung, Taïwan
Arman, Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
Arman, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
Arman, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo, Brazil
Arman—20 stations de l'objet, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris, France
Arman, Fundaciò "la Caixa," Barcelona, Spain
Arman, la traversée des objets, Palazzo delle Zitelle, Venice, Italy
Arman, Museo de Monterrey, Mexico
Arman, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
Arman: Werke auf Papier, Ludwig Museum, Coblenz, Germany
Arman: Through and Across Objects, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida
Arman: Works on Paper, Villa Haiss Museum, Zell, Germany
Awarded 2003 Sport Artist of the Year, The American Sport Art Museum and Archives, United States Sports Academy, Daphne, Alabama
Arman: Arman, Museum of Contemporary Art of Teheran, Teheran, Iran
Arman, Marlborough New York City
Omaggio ad Arman Arte Silva, Sergno
Arman—Peinture, Marlborough Monaco, Monaco
Hommage a Arman, Galerie Anne Lettree, Paris
Arman—Subida al Cielo, Musée d' Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain Nice, France
Arman—A Tribute to Arman, Marlborough Gallery, New York
Arman—No Comment, Galerie Georges-Phillippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris
Arman, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin
Arman, a retrospective, Centre Georges Pompidou, Oct. 2010, Paris
Arman, retrospectve, Museum Tinguely, Feb. 2011, Basel, Switzerland
Arman-in les Baux de Provence, July-Oct. 2011, Les Baux-de-Provence
Cycles, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
Public collections in the U.S.A., selected
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.[7]
Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas
Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, Missouri
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Allen Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio
Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, Washington
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida

Selected Press
Galenson, David, "Arman and the Art of the Object," Huffington Post, 01/25/11. Johnson, Ken, "Art in Review: Arman-- 'A Survey: 1954-2002'," The New York Times, 01/24/13.

Books about Arman
Chalumeau, Jean-Luc and Pierre Restany (preface), Arman: Shooting Colors, Paris, France: Éditions de la Différence, Autre Musée/Grandes Monographies, 1989 Kuspit, Donald. Monochrome Accumulations 1986—1989. Stockholm: A. H. Graphik, 1990
Otmezguine, Jane and Marc Moreau, in collaboration with Corice Arman. Estampes. Paris: Éditions Marval, 1990
Durand-Ruel, Denyse. Arman - Vol. II: 1960 à 1962. Paris: Éditions de la Différence, 1991
Durand-Ruel, Denyse. Arman - Vol. III: 1963 à 1965. Paris: Éditions de la Différence, 1994
Bouhours, Jean-Michel (director), Arman exhibition catalogue, Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, 2010

See available works