Nice, 1928 – New York, 2005
Pierre Fernandez Arman was a French painter and sculptor known for having developed – in the noblest sense of the term – the artistic concept of the so-called Accumulations.
Since 1953 he designs and manufactures objects in series (watches, dolls, cars, instruments, cameras, musical instruments, etc..) stacked in boxes or Plexiglas showcases, thus establishing himself as one of the most acclaimed artists of Nouveaux Réalisme.
Always interested in objects and the relationship that modern society has with them, between sacralization and consumption, Arman proved to be a passionate collector of everyday objects (watches, weapons, pens, etc..) and works of art, especially traditional African art of which he was a great connoisseur and appreciated specialist.
After high school, he enrolled at the School of Decorative Arts in Nice (now Villa Arson) and later at the Ecole du Louvre. In 1947, he meets Yves Klein and Claude Pascal at the judo school he attends in Nice.
In 1955, the Galerie du Haut-Pavé organized his first personal exhibition in Paris and it was during these years that he created his first Cachets (traces of inked or painted objects).
At the end of 1957, the artist, who used to sign his works with his name, in homage to Van Gogh, abandons “d” of Armand, formalizing his signature in 1958, on the occasion of an exhibition at Iris Clert.
In 1960, he uses plexiglass for the first time and exhibits Le Plein at Iris Clert’s gallery (a selected waste accumulation). This exhibition contrasts with the exhibition organized two years earlier in the same gallery by his friend Yves Klein.
The same year, under the guidance of art critic Pierre Restany, Arman becomes, with Yves Klein, one of the founding members of the Nouveaux Réalisme group along with François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and Jacques Villeglé, which were later joined by César, Mimmo Rotella, Niki de Saint Phalle, Gérard Deschamps and in 1963 Christo.
Since 1961, Arman developed his career in New York, where he lived and worked until 1967, alternating between the American city and Nice, until his death.
Arman’s works are now present in all international museums. Among the most important exhibitions dedicated to him we remember the retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2010 and the exhibition at the Tinguely Museum in Basel in 2011.
© ARMAND ARMAN FERNANDEZ, by SIAE 2023
exhibition catalogue edited by Bruno Corà, organized by Tornabuoni Art and Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice. B/w and colored illustrations, 152 pages, 9,4×11,8 in, Italian/English, 2022.
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Arte. Text by Rachele Ferrario. B/w and colored illustrations, 120 pages, 9,4×11,8 in, Italian/English, 2019.
Tout Feu Tout Flamme
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art Paris and Daniel Abadie. B/w and colored illustrations, 186 pages 9,4×11,8 in, French/English/Italian, 2012.