A key figure among 20th century artists, works of art, especially the sculpted works of Arman, have long been popular with the art market. Auction houses as well as museums of modern and contemporary art and the art world in general recognize his sculptures and pictorial works as incarnations of modern and contemporary art. True works of art, Arman’s sculptures are thus sold at auction by modern and contemporary art departments in prestigious auctioneer’s studios.
Born in Nice on November 17, 1928, Armand Pierre Fernandez developed a joint passion for art and music from an early age through his father, an experienced antique dealer and violinist. On the strength of this cultural heritage and a growing interest in painting, he successively entered the Decorative Arts in 1946 before joining the Ecole du Louvre three years later, a period during which he met Claude Pascal, but above all Yves Klein, with whom he founded the Nouveaux Réalistes group in 1960. Similar in Europe to American Pop Art, the movement of artists, composed of Nikki de Saint-Phalle and César among others, strives to take a new look at the real objects of consumer society by offering them artistic recycling.
His long artistic career began in 1956 with a first exhibition entitled “Cachets”, in which the artist affixed objects coated with ink to the canvas before finally conceiving the object no longer as a working material, but as the work itself. This change of direction became apparent as early as 1959, when the artist exhibited various types of waste through his series of “Poubelles” (dustbins). Then in 1961, at the same time as he moved into a New York loft in Soho, a neighbourhood famous for its contemporary art scene where graffiti and happenings are mixed, his first Accumulations appeared and his work reached a turning point. Stringed instruments, objects of his childhood, are first frozen without transformation in Plexiglas before the artist experiences his period of creative destruction and his material is burned, cut, multiplied and worn out. His “Pure Accumulations” and “Coupés” collections, comprising both compressed paint tubes (photo) and miniaturized and multiplied Eiffel Towers (photo), are a significant display of this technique that he will use throughout his life.
From the 1970s onwards, Arman widens his work and varies the techniques. He tried his hand at monumental accumulation by investing no longer in simple transparent blocks, but in public spaces of concrete columns decorated with cars (Long Term Parking, 1982, Jouy-en-Josas) or compilations of giant clocks (L’heure de tous, 1985, Le Havre).
Exhibited and recognized throughout the world, Arman devotes himself in the last years of his life to easel painting and drawing while continuing his work of accumulation which he will mix for a pictorial staging.
The auction house Aguttes Commissaire-priseur offered several works by Arman for sale, achieving very satisfactory sales results each time, whether paintings or sculptures. This is made possible by the dynamism of the Contemporary Art department, which offers to respond to collectors who would like to have a work by Arman appraised and appraised in complete confidentiality. The international network built up over time by the auction house Aguttes enables all buyers and sellers to be connected. Thus, in 2015, an artist’s proof of a bronze cello made in 1983 (116 x 67 x 40 cm -45 2/3 x 26 1/3 x 15 3/4 in.) was sold for €26,775.