Galerie des Modernes

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Armand Fernandez Arman

Nouveau Réalisme, Accumulation, Combustion

  • Portrait Robot d'André Schoeller

Armand Fernandez Arman

(Nice, 1928-New York, 2005)

Portrait Robot d'André Schoeller, 1968

Accumulation of personal  effects and objects under plexiglass fixed on a painted wooden panel
Signed, dated and titled on a manuscript note down to the middle of the composition
Portrait of André Schoeller / Arman / 68
Overall dimensions: 130 x 89.5 x 16 cm
Dimensions of the plexiglass: 110.8 x 70.7 x 15 cm

Provenance   :
André Schoeller Collection (1930? - Provins, 2015), donated by Arman

Registered in the Archives Arman by Mrs. Denyse Durand-Ruel under the n ° 2934

Certificate of authenticity by Mrs. Denyse Durand-Ruel


In the fall of 1960, Arman filled the Paris gallery, Iris Clert, with garbage and scrap metal, this exhibition entitled Le Plein (Full up) transformed overnight Arman and put him in the spotlight. It was a response to Yves Klein's exhibition Le Vide, which had taken place two years earlier in the same gallery, which presented nothing more than an empty gallery, painted white and lit by a lamp blue. It is with stacked objects, called by Arman Accumulations, that the artist secured a place in the history of art.

Some of his works may be considered a criticism of consumerism in the new society of the 1960s, while others present the diversity and specificity of apparently identical objects, or refer to a specific person.

In the early 60's, Arman began his Portraits Robots series of some of his artist friends or gallery owners (Yves Klein, Iris Clert, Ben, Daniel Spoerri or Jacques Villeglé ...) True portraits by the object or ghost images, they consist of accumulations of personal effects, daily details chosen by Arman and taken from the model. The viewer is invited to search for an image of a certain person hidden in the objects gathered in a box. Arman works with the idea that it is not the appearance of someone who characterizes him, but what that person uses and collects.

Arman - Portrait Robot de Ben, 1962 - Ben's personal belongings in a box - 182 x 34 x 22 cm - Mumok, Vienne, (Inv. B 335/0)


André Shoeller was a great friend of Arman, Cesar and Yves Klein


André Schoeller, a famous expert in modern paintings and early arts, was the son of a no less famous art expert with the same name. His father, a Corot specialist, was director of the Galeries Georges Petit, a friend of the Impressionists and Sacha Guitry. André Schoeller Jr., was first a gallery owner. He opened his first gallery in 1954, rue de Miromesnil, under the name of André Schoeller Junior. A real forerunner, he made a name for himself by being one of the first to support Paul Rebeyrolle and to exhibit Jean Fautrier, Jean Messagier, and Pierre Tal-Coat, Domenico Gnoli. He closed his gallery in 1970 and was one of the first to make confrontational exhibitions, for example by confronting Monet and Sam Francis.
Having become an expert, he organized sales of primitive arts, from Africa as well as from Oceania or North America of which he was a great specialist (we owe him the sale Rasmussen, the sale Tzara, etc ...), as well as impressionist and modern paintings, notably with the auctioneer Maurice Rheims.

When, in 1968, Arman decided to realize Portrait-Robot de André Schoeller, the references were not lacking. The artist translates the elegant dress of his model by a wooden hanger and a custom suit, a silk pouch ... It also shows references to his activities as a gallery owner, rue de Miromesnil in Paris including a painting by Jean Messagier , painter of the Galerie André Schoeller. Arman dwells on André Schoeller's passion for primitive art with, among other things, an African fly hunt ... Arman also stages more personal objects of his friend such as his pipes or his American tobacco box Prince Albert, his Gauloises cigarettes, his passion for opera (Tosca Puccini), his hobbies: fishing or hunting and rifle shooting ... but also his taste for whiskey and women .... More unusually, Arman incorporates a very rare German military decoration of World War II (SS-Dienotanszeichnung, SS insignia of 1st class), taken war by the young André during the Liberation of Paris .

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