(USA) *1928 in Nizza, France; †2005 in New York

Arman (b. Armand Pierre Fernandez), one of the leading exponents of Nouveau Réalisme, is represented at “Blickachsen 10” by two works in Bad Homburg and a third in Kronberg. The standing figure of Lenin in the Kurpark belongs to Arman’s “Atlantis” series of bronzes, encrusted with a thick, opaque patina and recalling archaeological artefacts long sunk under the sea. In taking the Russian revolutionary as his motif and titling the sculpture “Sic transit gloria mundi” (Thus passes the glory of the world), Arman may have been making a political statement. It is certainly true that the statue’s position opposite the monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I initiates a fascinating dialogue between art and history: it was Wilhelm’s grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II, who in 1917 enabled Lenin to return to Russia from exile in Switzerland and who financially supported the Bolsheviks. Arman’s “Tous azimuts” accumulation greets visitors in the courtyard of the Sinclair-Haus Museum. The work consists of innumerable pickaxe heads piled up in the shape of a column, with their pointed tips jutting out into the surrounding space “in all directions” (thus the title). They are relics of daily working life which Arman aesthetically transforms through artistic appropriation.

In addition to the two works presented in Bad Homburg, “Blickachsen 10” is showing a third sculpture by object artist Arman in Kronberg’s Victoriapark. In his famous “Accumulations”, “Colères” and “Coupes” series, Arman sought to integrate everyday reality into art, insofar as he elevated items of practical use – often musical instruments – into artistic materials which he piled up, arranged into a rhythmical order, sliced, splintered or scorched. The bronze “Music Power” on display in Kronberg is an almost 3-metre-high accumulation of twelve cellos, whose tops have been sliced down their fingerboard. Fascinated by the interior life of things, Arman dissected objects into which the viewer cannot normally see and then reassembled their fragments into new arrangements, thus lending the originals a new, artistic existence. Located in immediate proximity to the Kronberg Academy Festival concert venues, Arman’s bronze stands for the power of music for which it is named. Like the other sculptures exhibited in Kronberg, “Music Power” will be the inspiration for a musical composition to be premiered at a “Blickachsen” concert during the festival.