Nizza 1928 -
New York 2005
Armand Pierre Fernandez was born in 1928 in Nice, France. He is known as one of the most important international object artists and a co-founder and member of the Nouveau Réalisme. He studied at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice from 1946 to 1949 and then continued his studies for two years at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. An acquaintance with Yves Klein led to the idea of organising joint happenings and events, which the two artists realised in 1953. Armand's neo-dadaist 'Cachets' (stamp prints) of 1955, and later the 'Allures' (prints made with objects dipped into paint) and the 'Coupés' (cut-up objects) followed by the 'Colères' (objects which were smashed and then mounted) were still influenced by Kurt Schwitters. When the last letter of his name was accidentally forgotten on a catalogue cover in 1958, he decided to keep this spelling as a pseudonym: Arman. The artist discovered his famous 'Poubelles', Plexiglas cases with rubbish cast in resin, at the beginning of the 1960s. From the 'Poubelles' Arman developed the so-called 'Accumulations', a number of same objects assembled in show cases. These arrangements consisted mainly of day-to-day-life objects, with which the artist ironically questioned the waste character of modern mass products. Arman began working on the 'Combustiones' (burnt objects) during a stay in New York in 1963. He accepted a teaching post in Los Angeles in 1967 and taught at the University of California until 1968. From 1975 onwards Arman spent seven years working on a monumental sculpture made of 60 cars which he called 'Long Term Parking'. Together with Klein, Tinguely, Raysse and César, Arman is one of the most important artists of the Nouveau Réalisme.