Jean Arp (Hans Arp)
(French, born Germany (Alsace), 1886-1966)
Moustache Hat from Arpaden Portfolio

Jean (Hans) Arp. _Mustache Hat_ (_Schnurrhut_) from _Merz 5. 7 Arpaden by Hans Arp. Arp Portfolio. Second Portfolio of the Merz Publisher_ (_Merz 5. 7 Arpaden von Hans Arp. Arp Mappe. Zweite Mappe des Merzverlages_). 1923

One from a portfolio of seven lithographs, composition (irreg.): 10 3/4 x 13" (27.3 x 33 cm); sheet: 17 3/4 x 13 3/4" (45.1 x 34.9 cm). Gift of J. B. Neumann. © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Hans Arp collaborated with Kurt Schwitters on a number of projects, including this one, published in Schwitters’ Merz magazine. They were bound by a common interest in poetry, word play, and abstraction.

Anne Umland:

CURATOR, ANNE UMLAND: Arp, like Schwitters, was a poet, but in the interplay between the verbal and the visual, a slippage between the two is perhaps nowhere better seen than in this series of seven Arpaden, published in 1923.

Each one of these seven boldly graphic images came with a very particular title. Moving along the wall you can see the first one's title is Mustache Hat.

Then as you move through the series there are different forms: naval bottle, mustache watch, egg beater, Arabic eight. All of the titles and shapes themselves are purposefully open-ended to provoke as many associations as possible. There's a fabulous fairly tale-like narrative that might emerge from these different bold, graphic, yet elliptical forms arrayed before us.

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