Hans Arp

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Art is a fruit that grows in man.

Jean Arp (16 September 18867 June 1966) was a French sculptor, painter, poet and a founding member of Dadaism.


  • We had a dim premonition that power-mad gangsters would one day use art itself as a way of deadening men’s minds.
    • Dadaland (1948)

  • on art and the inexpressible (1915): Structures of lines, surfaces, forms, colours. They try to approach the eternal, the inexpressible above men. They are a denial of human egotism. They are the hatred of human immodesty, the hatred of images, of paintings.. ..Wisdom (is) the feeling for the coming reality, the ystical, the definite indefinite, the greatest definite.
    • text by Hans Arp himself in a catalogue of his own exhibition, Zürich 1915

  • a later statement on his cooperation with his future wife Sophie Täuber: We painted (about 1916) embroidered and made collages. All these works were drawn from the simplest forms and were probably the first examples of concrete art. These works are realities pure and independent with no meaning or cerebral intention. We rejected all mimesis and description, giving free reign to the elementary and spontaneous.
    • Abstract Art, Anna Moszynska, Thames and Hudson, London 1990, page 65

  • statement on Dada: Dada aimed to destroy the reasonable deceptions of man and recover the natural and unreasonable order.
    • Abstract Art, Anna Moszynska, Thames and Hudson, London 1990, page 66

  • statement on the art of Sophie Täuber, the female artist he later married: A deep and serene silence filled her structures composed of colors and surfaces. The exclusive use of horizontal and vertical rectangular planes in the work of art, the extreme simplification, exerted a decisive influence on my work. Here I founs , stripped down to the limit, the essential elements of all earthly constructions: the bursting, upward surge of the lines and the planes toward the sky, the verticality of pure life, and the vast equilibrum, the sheer horizontality and expansiveness of dreamlike peace. Her work was for me a symbol of a divinely built ‘house’ which man in his vanity has ravaged and sullied.
    • Abstract Painting, Michel Seuphor, Dell Publishing Co. 1964, page 58

  • on intuition in art, (about 1930): ..a painting or sculpture not modelled on any real object is every bit as concrete and sensuous as a leaf or a stone.. ..(but) it is an incomplete art which privileges the intellect to the detriment of the senses.. ..(art must be like) fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant or a child in it’s mother’s womb.
    • Abstract Art, Anna Moszynska, Thames and Hudson, London 1990, page 113


  • Art is a fruit that grows in man.
  • The cynicism of Dadists is a mask.
  • Dada is for dreams,colourful paper masks, kettle drums, sound poems, concretions, poem statiques, for things that are not far from picking flowers and making bouquets.

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