Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Arman: Accumulation of Friends Opens in New York

Arman: Accumulation of Friends Opens in New York


NEW YORK.-The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is launching its new FIAF Gallery with the exhibition, Arman: Accumulation of Friends, a portfolio of 82 black & white and color photographic portraits from the 1960s and 70s displayed for the first time in the United States.

When famed French-born American artist Arman (1928-2005) first came to New York in 1960, the art world was taking a new turn with Pop Art, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art. Arman soon became acquainted with the surrounding artists and befriended a great many of them. This exhibition features portraits of these friends, including most of the leading American figures of the time, such as Bill Copley, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Bernar Venet, and Andy Warhol.

Known world-wide for his “Accumulations” and sculptures, Arman’s personal hobby was photography. He was often seen carrying a camera and taking pictures of artists at openings and parties. The New York artists’ community was then small and very convivial. Arman recognized that he was living in what he called “a period of exception” and considered this portfolio to be “a reunion of portraits as souvenirs or snapshots with a documentary connotation.” Viewed together, these images speak to that camaraderie and form a historic portrait of the vibrant art scene that was then New York. The photographs were rescued from obscurity and erosion, printed, and put into a portfolio in 2000.

Arman’s notorious “Le Plein” installation at Iris Clert Gallery in Paris and New York debut at the Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery began his international career. He subsequently exhibited his works all over the world in museums and galleries. In February 2007 Arman’s most recent public sculpture, Stop, Look and Listen, 2004-2006, was officially unveiled at the opening of the Kaohsiuing train station in Taipei, China. Arman’s sculptural work is currently featured in the major “Nouveau Réalisme” retrospective exhibition at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais in Paris, alongside Yves Klein, Daniel Spoerri, and Jean Tinguely.

The exhibition was curated by Gabrielle Bryers. It is made possible by the generous loan from the Arman P. Arman Trust.


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