Armand Fernandez was born in Nice, France on November 17th.
Met Yves Klein and Claude Pascal in a judo school in Nice. They became inseparable friends, hitch-hiking together between 1947-1948 across Europe; they decided to sign their canvases using only their first name, in the manner of Vincent (Van Gogh) for whom each had a deep admiration. This profound friendship, at once spiritual and artistic, lasted up to the brutal death of Yves Klein in 1962.
The only student there to have passed his baccalaureate from the Ecole d'Arts Décoratifs in Nice, Arman moved to Paris to continue his artistic education at the Ecole du Louvre, in the department of oriental archaeology.
Created the group 'Triangle' with Yves Klein at Claude Pascal; met the musician Eliane Radigue, his future wife: they have 3 children, Françoise, Anne, Yves (the godson of Yves Klein). Left the Louvre in February to rejoin Yves Klein in Madrid in order to give a course in judo.
Participated with Yves Klein, who was returning from Japan, in a series of actions and happenings.
First experiments with inked, rubber stamps, inspired by the discovery of the work of Kurt Schwitters and Jackson Pollock.
Produced his first Cachets - (imprints made from inked, rubber stamps)
First Cachets exhibition and inauguration of the of the series Allure d' Objets : traces of objects that had been either inked or painted.
First Colère (Tantrum) exhibition: cutting and deconstruction of objects, taken from Allure d'Object..
Produced the Accumulations (following on from the work on Allure d' Objets and developed the Poubelles (Trash): reflections on the concept of garbage at the heart of the modern consumer society.
First series of Poubelles (Trash) housed in transparent glass boxes in 1962 in Los Angeles, during a performance realised at the Dwan Gallery.
April: co-signed the first manifesto of the group New Realists with Pierre Restany, consisting of Arman, Yves Klein, Raymond Hains, Jacques Villeglé, Jean Tinguely et François Dufrêne.
June: exhibition of Poubelles (Trash) at Schmela in Düsseldorf.
October 25, exhibition Le Plein (Full) at Iris Clert, counter pointing the exhibition, Le Vide (Empty) of Yves Klein.
27 October: co-signed the second manifesto of the group of New Realists: to the initial list which included Arman, new names were added: Martial Raysse, Niki de St Phalle, Christo, César, Gérard Deschanps, Daniel Spoerri.
First Coupe de Violon (slicing of a violin), continuing his work on 'Colères' by executing in public a Colère de Meubles Henri II (a smashing of furniture)
during the festival of the New Realists at the Roseland Abbey in Nice. Reiterated this type of happening in Paris, at the artist Brancusi's studio, improvising a 'Colère de Contrebasse'.
2 October, participated in the exhibition 'The Art of Assembling' organised by William Seitz at the Museum of Modern Art.
Met, and worked with, Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp the three of whom formed a deep friendship. Used polyester for the Accumulations; another process called 'Inclusion'.
Began to weld objects, allowing him to create Accumulation in volume, after having presented them as Inclusions. In August, realised a Colère de Piano, Chopin's Waterloo. Solo exhibition at the Dwan Gallery in Los Angeles.
Beginning of Combustions. Performance in Germany where, on stage, he exploded objects and then mounted the remains on panel. Arman exploded a white MG car owned by the film-maker Charles Wilp, who filmed the event.
Exhibited in the Walker Art Center Museum in Minneapolis, followed by another at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Exhibition, concentrating principally on mechanical objects, at Sidney Janis. Polyester, which he had been using as a glue since 1961 now occupies a predominant place in his work with Inclusions. Founded the Artist Key Club and organised the action, Locker Lottery: a participatory happening at Grand Central Station, New York, with Filoiou et Spoerri, Ayo, George Brecht, Christo, William Copely, Greco, Allan Kaprow, Roy Lichtenstein, Dieter Rot, Niki de Saint Phalle and Andy Warhol..
Fonde l'Artiste Key Club et organise l'action Locker Lottery : happening
participatif à la gare Centrale de New York, au côté
de Filiou et Spoerri, Ayo, George Brecht, Christo, William Copley, Greco,
Allan Kaprow, Roy Lichtenstein, Dieter Rot, Niki de Saint Phalle et Andy
Exhibition at the Haus Lange Museum in Krefelt, then in Lausanne, Paris and Chicago.
First spilling paint and accumulations of tubes sealed in polyester.
Retrospective at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Awarded the Grand Prix de Marzotto during the Venice Biennial. Happening 'Qui pro quo' a the Allen Stone gallery in New York.
Began a collaboration with the automobile company Renault: beginning of L'Art- Industrie. Was chosen to represent France with his first piece entitled, La Victoire de Salemotrice, which was exhibited at the Universal Exhibition in Montreal.
Participated at the Venice Biennial and at the Dokumenta de Kassel. Met Corice Canton, who became his wife in 1974. Taught at the University of California in Los Angeles and lived in Santa Monica.
Travelling exhibition of the works accomplished with Renault, to Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Humlebaek ( Denmark), Düsseldorf.
Beginning of the Inclusion en Beton (Inclusions in Concrete): Telecommunication in Casablanca in 1970, Prova d'Orchestra (test of an orchestra) in Milan in 1971, Hommage to the Garment District at the Museum of Jerusalem in 1972, Le Fossile méchanique de Dijon (the mechanical fossil of Dijon) in 1974, Long Term Parking in Jouy-en-Josas in 1982.
Espoir de Paix (hope of peace) in Beirut in 1995. Exhibited the Grandes oeuvres Renault (large Renault works) at the French stand of the Universal Exhibition in Osaka.
Celebration in Milan, with the entire group of New Realists, of the second anniversary of the movement. Realised 'Portraits d'ateliers d'artists': accumulation of the garbage from the studios of his artist friends for a series of portraits: material solicited from Christo, Peter Hutchinson, Joseph Kosuth, Roy Lichtenstein, Sol Le Witt, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenberg, Bernar Benet, Andy Warhol.
First Organic Poubelles ( Trash): the garbage is spilt onto plastic, which conserves the organic material taken from real garbage cans.
Travelling museum retrospective in the USA ( 1958 - 1974): began at the Jolla Mesuem in California and taken to four other American museums, ending up in New York. Exhibited Concrete Lyrics at Andrew Crispo.
Exhibited Objects armés 1971-1974 (armed objects) at the Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris.
Public performance of a film Conscious Vandalism at the John Gibson gallery in New York.
Constructed an environment for the XXXIX Venice Biennial.
Retrospective of his work at the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Kansas.
Realised Wall Pieces: large wall sculptures composed of kitchen implements and objects and presented at the OK Harris gallery, New York.
Several monumental sculptures are erected: Anchorage: accumulation of ships' anchors at the Dunkirk Museum; Les Travailleurs de la mer (voyagers of the sea) at the Foundation of Majorca. Completion of Long Term Parking: an accumulation of 59 motor cars in Concrete 20 metres high
Travelling retrospective, La Parade des Objects, (The display of objects) at the museums of Hanover, Darnstadt, Tel Aviv, Tübingen, Antibes, Dunkirk,. Monumental pieces: A ma jolie, accumulation of thirty guitars at the Picasso Museum. Exhibition, Arman's Orchestra, at the Marisa del Re Gallery, New York.
Realisation of an accumulation - a Flag in Marble( installed at the Elysée Palace) for the Bicentenary of the French Revolution. Exhibition , 'Tools and Instruments', at the Centre for Fine Arts, Miami. Solo exhibition at the Musée d'Art Modern in Parma. Retrospective at the Museo Civico de Belle Arti in Lugano, Switzerland.
Retrospective at the Selbu Museum of Art in Tokio, and at the Walker Centre, Seoul.. The famous sculptures: Music Power, monumental sculptures composed of violin pieces, in Nice; Rostropovitch's Tower, composed of cello pieces, in New York. Created the décor for Ravel's L'Heure Espagnol, at the Opéra de Paris.
Retrospective at Pavillon Web, Zurich, and at the Ulrich Museum, Wichita, Kansas. Exhibition at the Fuji Television Gallery in Tokyo. Work on the project Slices of Liberty, for the Centenary of the Statute of Liberty. Installed Being Beauteous, in Long Island University, as well as the Symphonia, at the Galleria Building, Dallas. Series of Coupe: slices of the sculptures of Dieux et de Déesses, God and Godesses.
Carried out several commissions of monuments: Cavalleria Erotica in Monte Carlo, Ascend to the Blues in Memphis, Tennesee, USA, Le Jardin des Délices, in Grasse, France, Persepolis in Dallas, Texas, USA, The Fourth of July in Connecticut, USA.
Installed at La Dokumenta de Kessel, La Descente aux Enfers, installation of motor cars. Worked on Transculptures : Following the Coupes des Diex and de Déesses worked on a new series of canvases : Paint-Brush Paintings.
Created the décor, costumes for Désordres lyriques, at the Opéra de Paris.
Created a temporary environment, Pinceaux piegés, monumental installation of 'Paint-Brush Paintings' in the Musée d'Art Contemporain, Nîmes, France. Realised monumental sculptures: La Vénus des Arts in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés, Paris and Dionysos Révéle for the Portman Company in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and the fountain Turbeau, at the Château Notre-Dame des Fleurs in Vence, France. Happening: Beijing Quartet I, at the People's Palace, Tienneman Square, Peking, China, under the auspices of the campaign 'Marco Polo - Save the Great Wall of China.'
Installation of Million Miles, in Korea, monumental accumulation of welded truck axels, and Universalities of Wisdom, a public commission from the city of San Francisco. Museum presentations of 'Monochrome Paintings' and a setting up of 'Shooting Colours': objects cut or broken, reconstituted on canvas and covered with jets or streams of paint. Followed by a series of 'Stradivarius' : slices of stringed instruments.
New series of sculptures entitled Atlantis: using a technique of melting and ageing of bronze, to give the impression that the object has been in the depths of the sea for centuries; plus new works entitled Objets cachets - Sous la peau. (Hidden objects - under the skin). Commission of Rêves de Calandres, from the automobile company, BMW.
Participated in the first Lyon Biennial with Traction avant, traction après and Philémon, Baucis, and the series Atlantis. At the Fuji Television Gallery in Tokio, Arman presented a series of 'Portraits of Musicians' following on from the 'Portraits Robots' carried out for friends of Arman. Introduced the theme of bicycles into his canvases. Travelling retrospective of his works from 1954, inaugurated at the Museum of Fine Arts, Huston, Texas, USA, then taken to Brooklyn Museum and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Installation of Larmes de fonte (Melting tears) : accumulation which commemorated the abolition of slavery, in Martinique and les Gourmandes: accumulation of bronze table forks exalting gastronomy, in Roanne. Creation of the 'Trophée de Arts' commissioned by the Institut français and the Alliance française. Travelling exhibition, 'Il giro de Arman' in Italy. (Arman's tour)
New series of paintings inspired by Van Gogh's La Nuit étoilée. Exhibition of the series Accumulations de Collections.
New monumental sculpture for the Broward Performing Art Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
Completed the series of sculptures Money Queens: accumulations of different bank notes in a transparent feminine bust. Inauguration in Beirut of the monument Espoir de Paix, (Hope of Peace)
Commission of an 'Arman' stamp: development of the notion of 'Trésor Cachés' with the French post office. Created Captain Nemo for the 'Champs de la sculpture' in Paris. Exhibition 'Arman and African Art' at the museum Vieille Charité in Marseille and at the museum of Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie in Paris, then on to Cologne and New York.
New series of sculptures entitled Cascades exhibited at Sonnabend in New York. Les Interactives : sculptures in bronze implicating a lateral movement at the heart of Coupes, are presented at the Galerie Beaugourg in Paris, and at the Galerie Yeh, in Seoul, Korea. Exhibition of 'Trésor Cachés.'
Met Soumya Benjeddir, the Director of the Artsoum Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nice, France.
Participated with 'Hommage à Hypatia', where he sliced up books, at the public manifestation for the benefit of Amnesty International. Travelling retrospective: beginning at the Jeu de Paume Gallery in Paris and then went on to Israel, Portugal, Brazil, China, and Spain. Created immersed paintings: Nec Mergitur works composed of assembled, sliced pieces: Sandwich Combo. Initiated the series of Fragmentations: Fragmented Pianos, a large piece installed at the John Gibson Gallery. Installation of two monumental sculptures: Prometheus à Saarbruke in Germany, and Matricielle à Vire in France for the industrial group Guy-Degrenne.
Hommage to Ferrari: La Rampante, a sculpture consisting of racing cars in red bronze, cut and superimposed, installed at Imola, by the racing track. Exhibitions in galleries in Belgium and Sweden. Participated, towards the end of the year, in a number of exhibitions: 'Animal' at the Bourdelle Museum in Paris. 'Les 100 Sourires de Mona Lisa' at the Metropolitian Museum of Tokyo. Created works consitisting of sculpted objects in marble or granite.
Retrospective 'La Traversée des Objets' at the Foundation Emile-Hughes in Vence, France. This exhibition was resumed in 2001, under the auspices of the Venice Biennial, then taken to the Boca Raton Museum in Florida, USA. Installation of a 'Fragmentation de Motocyclettes, suspended on chains a the Galerie Vallois in Paris. Presentation, within the scope of Isea 2000, d'Instruments à Gongs (hinged instruments) in the amphitheatre of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Exhibition of 'Fragments d'objets' at the Galerie Templon in Paris. Inauguration, at the Couvent des Cordeliers in Paris, of a series of works and installations characterising the 20 century 'Vingt Stations de l'Objet'.
Retrospective at the Musée d'Art Modern et d'Art Contemporain de Nice. Exhibition of sculptures at the Musée Picasso d'Antibes. Continuation of the 'Vingt Stations de l'Objet' exhibition, this time by town of Antibes. Exhibition of the series 'Combo' at the Marlborough Gallery, New York. Created, for the first time from a living model, the interactive sculpture in bronze, Grain de Beauté: an edition 'Artsoum'.
Creation of Venus Interactive Occultée for Artsoum art contemporain.
Retrospective of his works in Teheran, Iran. Regrouping 30 artists for the Roseland Abbey project, Arman lends his voice to the artist Laurent Pocquet, for an sound installation: Les Murmures de l'Abbey.
Arman's works are found in the great artistic collections in the world, and in over 90 museums worldwide.
20 september - 20 october 2003
Arman, who has not exhibited in a private gallery in Nice for 30 years, presents "Sans Papier" (Without Papers) at Artsoum art contemporain. He created, especially for Artsoum, a series of original, hitherto unseen works, which demanded detailed, meticulous work so that the special support blended with the materials used - acrylic, ink, and embossed paper. Here we find the musical instruments that have resonated with his artistic dialogue since the beginning of his career.
The artist is particularly pleased to show his work in this private, first-floor gallery, in which the intimate convivial atmosphere creates a unique harmony with the works of art.
Arman's works are found in the great artistic collections in the world, and in over 90 museums worldwide.
Arman dies on October 22nd in New York.