A new state of things

ARMAN, New state of things

29 June to 15 December 2019

Donated by Arman (1928-2005) to his hometown of Vence, the bronze sculpture-fountain Accord Parfait (Perfect Harmony), installed in front of the museum, forms both the starting-point and the focus of this exhibition. Showing a destroyed piano, an imaginary shipwreck, this masterpiece conceived for the series Atlantis, is the pretext for returning to the basis of the art and imagination of Arman which we find perfectly expressed in this work.

Embodying the artist’s idea of an “archaeology of the future”, Accord Parfait pays the ultimate tribute to odds and ends, by transforming debris into archaeological treasure. The visionary creator of “Poubelles” (dustbins or trashcans), pioneer of the art of recycling, turned everyday objects into this artistic medium, to help us better see and reflect upon the materialistic culture of our industrial civilization. Stripped of their everyday function, decrepit ordinary objects become in the hands of Arman poetic artifacts, while constituting a tangible account of the history of our consumer society – well before the environmental impact of industrial waste became a mainstream issue. Even more relevant today than yesterday, all of Arman’s work is a cry of rage. An act of defiance against mass consumerism, and a demonstration that art can provide another way to make use of the world. “Cutting a violin into thin slices is an outrageous thing to do, explains the artist.

The application of a technique or a method which one could apply to a sausage but which is not intended for a violin causes a distortion of thought, a change which, naturally, produces a psychological effect.”1 Accord Parfait has a paradoxical title as of course this piano can no longer play any other harmony than the message that the artist Arman has conferred on it. Destruction establishes itself as the basis of creation, akin to the myth of Atlantis.

1) Arman, Interview with Alain Jouffroy, L’Oeil, 1963

Jérôme Neutres, curator.

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2, place du frêne

Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm.







29 June 2019 | 11:00 to 15 December 2019 | 18:00