Born in Nice in 1928, Arman was the son of an antiques dealer and amateur cellist. In addition to drawing and painting, the artist absorbed an intense appreciation for music. After the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice, he went to Paris to study Art History at the Ecole du Louvre. More consequential yet was his signing, in 1960, of the manifesto of the “Nouveau Réalisme” (New Realism) movement. With fellow artists Klein, Martial Raysse and Jean Tinguely, among others they asserted the document: “New Realism equals new ways of perceiving the real”. Therefore, Arman set out on a new course, in which he would re-examine the artistic possibilities of everyday objects. He could elevate the banal to the aesthetic, and refuse into art.
The artist is seen as one of the most prolific and inventive creators of the late 20th century. His vast artistic output ranges from drawings and prints to monumental public sculptures, and his famous “accumulations”. His work is in the collections of such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
The artist passed away in October 2005. However, the efforts of his wife of 34 years, Corice Canton Arman, and of the Arman P. Arman Trust, continue to ensure that his remarkable legacy.