Arman is a brilliant French artist who abandoned his career as a painter in time to become a world-famous sculptor.
Arman is a famous American artist of French origin, one of the brightest representatives of the New Realism movement. Arman became famous as the author of the so-called “accumulations” – three-dimensional compositions made up of identical objects. Although at the initial stage of creativity and at the end of his professional career, he created many paintings in different styles and genres.
Arman was a versatile creative person. In addition to sculpture and painting, he was fond of making engravings and book illustrations, and for many years he also collected household items (pens, watches, radios), ancient Japanese weapons, as well as masks and figurines of the peoples of Africa.
Armand was born on November 17, 1928 in the resort town of Nice, located on the Mediterranean coast, in the family of an antique dealer.
Armand from childhood was fond of drawing, martial arts and ancient oriental philosophy. After studying the basics of painting under the guidance of his father, who was a self-taught artist, he entered the School of Decorative Arts and at the same time began attending classes in the judo section at the local police academy. Soon he met two young people – Yves Klein and Claude Pascal. During the summer holidays, they went on an exciting hitchhiking tour of Europe. Subsequently, Klein became a famous artist, and Pascal – an outstanding French composer.
In 1949 Armand entered the Louvre School in Paris at the Faculty of Archaeology. After leaving school, he was drafted into the army and sent to the Indochina War in Vietnam. And after demobilization in 1953, the young artist returned to Nice. Here he married for the first time and took up painting in the style of surrealism. This marriage lasted 18 years, in which the master had two daughters and a son. In the early 1970s, Arman married again, but this family relationship also ended in divorce. The second wife gave him two more children (a son and a daughter). The last time the artist became a father was already in 1989. The youngest child named Yves Cezanne Armand was born out of wedlock, but later the master recognized him as his son.
Until the end of the 1950s, the artist continued to enthusiastically paint oil paintings, but his work was not in demand among the public. Desperate to succeed in the field of painting, Arman decided on a series of unusual creative experiments. He first developed a specific technique for making color prints on paper and fabric from rubber stamps and exhibited several works at an exhibition in Paris in 1958. The innovative works appealed to the public and received positive reviews from many critics. Three years later, he developed other unique concepts – “Accumulations”, “Colors” and “Trash Cans”.
At the same time, Armand joined the creative association called Nouveau Réalisme, created by his longtime friend Yves Klein. And soon he received an invitation from the United States to take part in a large-scale exhibition.
Having visited New York in 1961, Arman fell in love with this bustling metropolis. By the early 1970s, he had acquired a spacious apartment in the city center. He set up a studio and spent most of the year there. Only for a few winter months did he leave New York and come to Nice.
Innovative works of the artist were in great demand among the public.
He was a welcome guest at major international exhibitions and consistently received many lavish commissions. Large-scale monumental works of the author today adorn the squares of cities in France, Italy, Switzerland, the USA, Chile, Israel and Lebanon.
In the late 1980s, after a thirty-year break, the master returned to painting again. Although the paintings he created did not arouse interest among his fans. Nevertheless, until the end of his life, the artist was constantly in the center of media attention. And on October 22, 2005, Arman died in New York at the age of 76.