Hans (Jean) Arp
27 x 33 x 31 cm (10 5/8 x 13 x 12 1/4 in.)
edition of 5 + 1 with monogram, numbered 0/5 and with foundry mark 'H. Noack, Berlin'
In the 1960s, Arp continued to create sculptural works from exclusively organic forms, which seamlessly tie in with his works from the 1930s and form a counterpart to the more cubist and architecturally motivated works such as the threshold sculptures of this period. This group of works in organic forms also includes the “Wolkentier” (“Cloud Animal”), whose suggestive form invites associations that are also challenged by the title. Cloud animals, that is, shapes that appear in conspicuous cloud shapes evoking figures or animals, are ephemeral phenomena that, although only “imagined”, are real at the moment of their perception. They share this property with dream images, and so cloud images, like dreams, are a level of reality that is particularly valued by surrealistic symbolism, since it leads beyond the sensual perception of reality into the realm of fantasy. Cloud animals, like Arp's sculpture, are a kind of reality in metamorphosis and thus particularly close to the partially hermetic, constantly changing chains of associations of Surrealism. In his poem "Die Blumensphinx" from 1920, Arp had explicitly referred to the cloud animals: “to the aria of a bell turns a ruffled star. the flowered carpet over which the dream and cloud animals have moved into the sky is getting brushed and curled up. "