A small, biomorphically abstract sculpture of bronze grows from a wooden base. Bulbous at the bottom, the shape stretches and narrows in the middle and then expands into a larger shape from which two rounded points rise.
An example of Jean (Hans) Arp's interest in biomorphic abstraction. In its attention to basic, generic biomorphic shapes the piece is a kind of study of primordial organic forms, forms suggestive of all manner of life but not representing anything specifically.
March 28, 2009
Fellow Surrealist artist Max Ernst characterized Arp’s work as embodying a sense of primal truth; his sculptures speak, he said, a “hypnotic language [that] takes us back to a lost paradise, to cosmic secrets, and teaches us to understand the language of the universe.” Arp himself makes reference to the idea of a lost paradise in the title of this piece, Pre-Adamic Fruit. When the biblical Adam and Eve tasted the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, their mortal sin caused the fall of mankind and they were expelled from paradise. Afterwards they knew pain, want, and shame at their nakedness. Arp’s “primal” fruit has features suggestive of both the feminine and the masculine; its androgyny may be the artist’s attempt to represent a return to innocence.
Syd Browne was an American printmaker and watercolorist, born in Brooklyn in 1907. He studied at the Art Students' League and was a member of various artists groups in New York and Philadelphia. A number of his prints are in the collection of the Library of Congress, including one of the "Sutton Place" impressions. This same print was included in the Gallery of American Art Today at the 1939 New York World's Fair.