Fernandez Arman (1928-2005) France

Fernandez Arman (Armand Pierre Fernandez) was born in 1928 in Nice and was a French-American sculptor and artist. During Arman's childhood his father, Antonio Fernandez, had a strong influence on Arman’s interest in culture. Antonio loved painting, poetry and music, and taught his son to paint at a young age.

In 1946 and 1947 Arman studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Nice, but he dropped out of the program because of the school's conservative views. He became acquainted with Yves Klein during this period and along with Klein he would later be strongly linked with the “new realists.”

In 1949, Arman moved to Paris where he studied at the Ecole du Louvre. At an exhibition in 1954 he discovered Kurt Schwitters’ work, which led him to reject the lyrical abstraction of the period. In the late 1950s, the focus of his work shifted from traditional painting and sculpture to “ready-made” and the object itself. Arman also began to cut his objects into thin strips to show the internal structure and to destroy his artworks through violent rages in public as a kind of performance where the desire was to provoke new aesthetic effects.

Arman is best known for his sculptures depicting combinations of objects, often musical instruments such as saxophones and violins. Between 1959 and 1962 Arman developed his most well-known style, “Accumulations” and “Poubelle” (trash). He collected common and identical objects that were randomly selected and arranged them behind a plexiglass case. From the mid-1960s Arman spent a considerable amount of time in the US and in 1972 he became an American citizen.