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Revolutionary artist on display at the Turner Contemporary

  • Date17 October 2017

For the first time in more than 50 years, the work of renowned artist Jean Arp is being exhibited in the UK, thanks to the work of Royal Holloway's Eric Robertson, Professor of Modern French Literary and Visual Culture in the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

The exhibition at the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate runs from 13 October 2017 to 14 January 2018.

Jean Arp (known as Hans Arp in Germany) is considered to be one of the most versatile and original abstract artists of the 20th century.

Professor Robertson said: "The sheer diversity of Arp's work shows his extraordinary versatility. At various times the British media have described Arp as a French sculptor and painter, a German intellectual, and a Swiss artist; he has a fascinating history and he is incredibly difficult to pigeon-hole. He was a real polymath with a very quirky vision."

Homage a Rodin, 1938

Hommage à Rodin, black granite, 1938. Image © Ken Adlard


A European story

The exhibition, Arp: The Poetry of Forms, is the first exhibition of Jean Arp’s work in the UK since 1966. As well as over 70 pieces of his work – the majority of which have not been on display previously in the UK – the exhibition includes publications of Arp’s poetry and writings.

 Arp was a German-French sculptor, painter, poet, and abstract artist. Famous for his exhibitions with Matisse, Arp was a founding member of the Dada movement in Zurich and his work was also featured by surrealist groups in Paris.

Professor Eric Robertson continued: "Arp's belief that art and poetry can unite people across national borders is as relevant today as it was during his lifetime."

The exhibition is being held in partnership with the Turner Contemporary and Kröller-Müller Museum in The Netherlands, where it was shown earlier this year.

Find out more about the exhibition and the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

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