A collection of six original plaster casts by Jean Arp
“The plaster fascinated him and he was surprised to see how, still wet, it solidified. His plasters have nothing to do with the plasters of traditional sculpture. This is not the only reason for their inestimable value since it should also be noted that his plaster models are always the basis of his marble, stone or granite pieces. The edition of the bronze versions – which he entrusted to a founder – never knew more than three or five copies and he always wanted them made using the lost wax method, a process that did not damage the plaster. »
(Greta Stroeh (1939-2001), former director of the Arp Foundation in Meudon, 1977)
Playful and poetic, Arp’s sculptures always start from a plaster that he himself modeled by hand.
From 1930, he made his first sculptures with this material. Around 1958, at the height of his notoriety, to satisfy the growing demand, Arp surrounded himself with assistants including the moulder Capelli and the sculptors Santelli, Tarabella, Antoine Poncet… and André Mounier, who worked with him in his studio.
Among the plasters, some are casts of the final work which were sometimes offered by the artist to those around him or to institutions. These plasters are often made years after the original model was created. They are often plinthed and in good condition.
Most are workshop plasters as close as possible to the act of creation, comprising many variants, helping the artist – assisted by his collaborators – in the process of developing the work, which is the case for four of the present plasters, coming from the collection of his assistant André Mounier, and for one, from the collection of the founder Gilbert Clémenti.
More specifically, let us mention plasters intended for the carve of marble or stone said “mise au point” or for the casting of bronze.
A plaster intended for the stonecutter said “metteur au point”, in charge of the translation into marble, has metallic markers, which in the present collection is the case of The friend of the little finger, also from the André Mounier collection.
A plaster intended for the founder for translation into bronze is covered with a brown patina due to the release agent, shellac or black soap, the present collection does not include a copy.
The Arp Foundation does not issue certificates for casts.