Jean (Hans) Arp. Untitled (Squares Arranged according to the Laws of Chance). (1917)

Jean (Hans) Arp

Untitled (Squares Arranged according to the Laws of Chance)


Cut-and-pasted colored paper on colored paper
13 1/8 x 10 1/4" (33.2 x 25.9 cm)
Gift of Philip Johnson
Object number
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
Jean (Hans) Arp has 60 works online.
There are 14,286 drawings online.

Arp participated in the Dada movement in Zurich during World War I, creating collages such as this one that privilege chance over artistic intention. This work consists of fragments of colored paper arranged in a random configuration. The squares that swarm this collage were torn from sheets of colored paper. By using his hands to rip the paper instead of a more precise tool, the artist surrendered an increased level of control, embracing the jagged contours of the squares.

Gallery label from There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33”, October 12, 2013–June 22, 2014

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Philip Johnson, New York. 1949 - 1970
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Philip Johnson, 1970

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