Jean Arp

Constellation, 1928

oil on wood

The practice of arranging identical elements in varying ways forms the basis of an especially important group of works from the 1930s. Arp called them Constellations, since he drew his inspiration from naturally occurring configurations of stars, clouds, and stones. With their flowing contours, the forms resemble cells. Arp henceforth declared these moving ovals to be an elementary or “cosmic” shape. This Constellation, from 1928, marks the beginning of a long engagement with these principles of arranging and ordering.

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