Jean Arp (Hans Arp)
Moustaches c.1925

Artwork details

Jean Arp (Hans Arp) 1886–1966
Date c.1925
Medium Oil paint on board
Dimensions Object: 307 x 227 mm, 5 mm
frame: 345 x 265 x 40 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mr and Mrs Robert Lewin through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1988
Not on display

Display caption

Arp developed a distinctive repertoire of abstracted shapes for his sculptural reliefs. The same motifs, repeated from work to work, were intended as a kind of ‘object language’. One of these symbols was the moustache, which Arp associated with pomposity. A common affectation of figures of authority, the moustache embodied the spirit of bourgeois stupidity that had precipitated the First World War. It was only around the time of making this work that the German-born Arp secured his French nationality, having been stateless since refusing to fight in the war.

July 2008