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.
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.