2015

MARTIN BLANK

Sculptor, Antwerpen

The plaster casts in the Stiftung Arp e.V.’s collection lend significant insight to the sculptor Hans Arp’s studio practice. This project aims to reconstruct the role of individual plaster casts within Arp’s artistic process and in his methods of fabrication. Its first phase involves the examination of all the plaster casts in the collection for traces of modification. The second phase builds upon the results of this initial investigation to develop a precise technical terminology for Hans Arp’s plaster casts that can then serve as a basis for subsequent research on specific casts. In the third phase, all of the plaster casts in the collection will be catalogued according to this terminology. Martin Blank, a sculptor who teaches the traditional methods for creating plaster casts at the Academy in Antwerp, will carry out this research. Cross-referencing research findings art historical dates, the development of the technical terminology and its standardization for future research will be carried out in close collaboration with Arie Hartog, the editor of the recent catalog of Arp’s sculpture whose research has focused on the artist’s studio practice for many years.



STEPHANIE BUHMANN

Art Historian, Curator, New York

„A Transatlantic Friendship—Hans Arp, Sophie Taueber-Arp and Frederick Kiesler“ analyzes the friendship and the lively correspondence among Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965), an Austrian artist who moved to New York in 1926. The three had met in Europe during the 1920s. Their geographic separation facilitated an intense written dialogue, in which they exchanged ideas about surrealism, avant-garde theater, abstract poetry and the concept of spatial art. The research project A TRANSATLANTIC FRIENDSHIP gathers and analyzes the documented correspondence between Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Frederick Kiesler as well as sources related to their friendship written by other artists and figures from the art world. Additionally, the three artists’ works will be discussed as they pertain to their exchange and exemplify their parallel interests and artistic goals.



AGATHE MAREUGE

Specialist in German Studies, University of Paris-Sorbonne

This research project involves planning a critical edition of Hans Arp’s literary oeuvre that encompasses his poetry and essayistic writings in both German and French. The aim is not merely to document Arp’s poetry, but rather to evaluate and contextualize the significance of its poetological and aesthetic strategies within the post-war European avant-garde. The critical edition will lend insight to Arp’s poetic and artistic processes, which are often similar in approach and technique. It will also present Arp’s editorial activity as an important aspect of his poetics. Moreover, his role as editor led him to become one of the first literary historians of the Dada movement. A complete edition with comprehensive notes, critical commentary and an index will reveal much about these diverse aspects of this Dada poet’s oeuvre. Additionally, it will offer a scholarly basis for further engagement with Arp’s work and with the broader legacy of the European avant-garde. The fellowship will facilitate an investigation of the correspondence, first editions and additional primary and secondary literature held at the Stiftung Arp e.V.’s archive and library. It will then result in a sustainable concept for such a critical edition and the definition of its concrete parameters.



ERIC ROBERTSON

School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Royal Holloway, University of London

The purpose of the proposed research is twofold, and relates to the long-standing critical engagement of Eric Robertson with the work of Hans Jean Arp. Firstly the research will entail close scrutiny of the correspondence and other documentation concerning Arp’s relationship with Curt Valentin. In particular, the study will be based on a close analysis of Dreams and Projects, the volume that Arp produced with the assistance of Valentin. Secondly the stay at the archive and library of the Stiftung Arp e.V. will support the research for a single-authored study on Hans Arp accompanying a major exhibition of Arp’s work at the Hepworth Wakefield in 2016. The access to the extensive Arp correspondence, as well as to the plasters and other works held in the Stiftung, will allow Robertson to reflect anew upon the creative processes underpinning his work in its various forms.



MARTA SMOLIŃSKA

Art Historian, University of Arts, Poznań

This research project concerns haptic perception and the role of touch in the art and theory of Hans Arp. As in the work of Henry Moore and Constantin Brâncuși, tactility plays a prominent role in Arp’s sculpture. However, a thorough study of haptic perception in the work of Arp has not yet been realized. This project therefore focuses on those works by Arp that can be understood in terms of the „haptic” as defined by Alois Riegl. Furthermore, Arp’s work is critical to the broader understanding of the role of touch in modern and contemporary art. Many artists whose work engages with tactile sense have cited Arp’s sculpture as a significant source of inspiration. Thus, the project’s goal is to develop a definition of the haptic and the tactile in Arp’s work through a study of his sculpture and archival material housed at the Stiftung Arp, e.V. Ultimately, it will not only further a novel methodological approach to Hans Arp’s sculptures, but also establish a new or modified definition of the haptic or tactile in art.
 


BRANDON TAYLOR

Professor Emeritus in History of Art, University of Southampton and Tutor in History and Theory of Art, University of Oxford, UK

Taylors research will examine features of Hans Arp’s reception in the USA in the 1940s and 1950s, a topic of particular interest in view of the special artistic and political currents then active in the USA contrasted with the values and aspirations of European Dada. A starting point will be the so-called Duet Drawings and torn collages made jointly by Hans and Sophie Taeuber-Arp at certain moments from the 1930s, together with the first group of marble and stone sculptures undertaken by Hans Arp in the 1930s which can be said to have evaded traditional models of formal sculptural wholeness in favour of a folding or doubling of patterns of formal coherence; that is, to have approached formal incoherence, and done so for particular reasons. The clash of ‘wholeness’ models here evokes the research programmes of so-called Gestalt Theory in psychology of the Berlin School as well as the broader Ganzheitspsychologie of the Leipzig theorists of the 1920s and 30s. These models of perception and cognition were criticised or extended within the flowering of European phenomenology and existentialism; however the latter also did not translate without essential variation into the culture of post-war America. The career of Hans Arp’s former Dada ally Richard Huelsenbeck provides a relevant case study of those and similar tensions. Taylors research will pay particular attention to the textual and photographic content of publications such as On My Way in the celebrated Documents of Modern Art series edited by Robert Motherwell and published by Wittenborn Schulz in 1947; Arp’s contributions to the anthology The Dada Painters and Poets, again edited by Motherwell and published in 1951; the reception of Arp’s one-person exhibitions at the Buchholz Gallery, 1949 and 1950; and the presentation of the major retrospective Hans Arp at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1958. The further context is the conference ‘Hans Arp and the USA’, to be held at the Stiftung Arp e.V. in June 2015.