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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity Ocula Conversation Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity

Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...

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Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House Ocula Report Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House 5 Jul 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...

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Hans Arp

(1886 - 1966), France

Hans Arp is a familiar figure of classical Modernism and was a key contributor in the development of Dada and Surrealism in the early twentieth century. Focusing his attention on everyday objects, Arp created his own unique 'object language' using a nonsensical vocabulary: plate, fork, knife, clock, tie, moustache, lips, breasts. With a playful hand he juggled the dominant art currents of the early twentieth century, combining seemingly contradictory geometric and organic formal idioms with the artistic '-isms' of his epoch.

Turning his back on the increasingly modernised turn-of-the-century society, Arp created biomorphic works whose organic, amoeboid forms highlighted his fascination with the physiological processes of procreation, growth and death, and counteracted the rectilinear structures of Cubism. Arp studied the mineral, vegetable, and animal worlds for inspiration, documenting the evolution of an imaginary world. Combined with his late bronze sculptures from the 1950s, these works sought to give form to natural forces - clotting, hardening, congealing and fusing - all of which were symbols of eternal cycles in nature for Arp.

Born in Strasbourg, France in 1886 Arp was raised bilingual, French and German, and additionally Alsatian, which was fundamental for his work. After studying at Ecole des Arts et Metiers, Kunstschule Weimar and Académie Julian, Paris he co-founded the Swiss Artists association 'Der Moderne Bund' and the Dada movement in Zurich. Arp participated the first Surrealist exhibition in 1925 in Paris alongside Klee, Picasso and many others. In the 1930s, the Zurich-based art historian Carola Giedion-Welcker recognised the relevance of Arp's vision of nature, and saw in his works the 'invisible made visible, the search for a visual language capable of capturing the spiritual realms beyond the world of appearances.' Arp's innovative and influential practice prefigured the Fluxus movement, inspired artists such as Anthony Caro and Joan Miró, and made way for the great contemporary performance artists.

His first major solo exhibition in the USA was shown in 1949. Arp was awarded the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1954. In the 1960s he received the Stephan Lochner Medal, the GrandPrix National des Arts and the German Federal Cross of Merit. The first Arp retrospective was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1958. Although his later practice is often overlooked, Arp continued producing sculpture and poetry in a continuation of the Dada tradition until his death in 1966, during which time he built up an incredible body of work.

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Featured Artworks

Ptolemäus II / Ptolémée II (Ptolemy II) by Hans Arp contemporary artwork
Hans ArpPtolemäus II / Ptolémée II (Ptolemy II), 1958 Bronze
101.6 x 49.5 x 47 cm
Hauser & Wirth
Vasentorso / Torse-vase (Vase-Torso) by Hans Arp contemporary artwork
Hans ArpVasentorso / Torse-vase (Vase-Torso), 1963/2012 Bronze
76.2 x 15 x 9 cm
Hauser & Wirth

Current Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Hans Arp, Arp: Master of 20th Century Sculpture at Hauser & Wirth, Hong Kong
Upcoming
4 September–9 November 2019 Hans Arp Arp: Master of 20th Century Sculpture Hauser & Wirth, Hong Kong

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