Square format photograph with brown/amber/white color tones. Two glass objects in the abstract shape of a human figure (shoulder, neck and tilted head only) are placed in the foreground with the heads tilted toward each other. On the right side there is a partial view of a table that is shown out of focus. Light is reflected on the rounded forms of the figures and their shadows are projected on a blank wall behind them. There is a large shadow profile of a man also projected onto the wall.
Following the death of his wife, in 1977 Kertész photographed objects in his New York City apartment using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. This photograph features a small glass bust that he said reminded him of his wife's features. In some cases he positioned it on his windowsill to capture the reflection of sunlight, but here he has used two figurines leaning toward each other and
A small polished bronze sculpture of a biomorphic form rising gracefully from a small base. Where it contacts the base, the form stands on two leg-like structures. The form rises from there, narrows, then opens up into a wider, more oblong shape at the top.
An early 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
In the spring of 1915 Arp sought refuge from World War I in Zurich, where he met fellow artist (and his future wife) Sophie Taeuber. Her abstract compositions of squares and rectangles greatly impressed Arp, and he soon abandoned the figurative style of his early work. He went on to become a founding member of Dada, an international “anti-art” movement militantly opposed to tradition and convention; he also participated actively in Surrealism, which turned away from external reality and nature to the exploration of the human subconscious.
During his Surrealist period, Arp’s investigation of biomorphism, which takes its name from the organic forms that seem to have been shaped by the forces of nature, proved to be a fertile soil for the evolution of his distinctive style. He arrived at undulating, fluid shapes such as this one, later referred to as “moving ovals,” through the Surrealist technique of automatic drawing, in which the hand moved “randomly” across the paper without conscious thought—a technique the Surrealists believed would reveal the contents of the subconscious mind. Arp’s biomorphic distortions are amplified by the polished surface of the bulbous curves of the sculpture, which distort the reflected image like a funhouse mirror.
Inscribed inside rear face of base: HA Inscribed inside left face of base: 3/3