Jean Arp

French (1886 - 1966)
Jean Arp Untitled About 1936 © DACS 2016.


Born 1886
Died 1966
Nationality French

Jean, or Hans, Arp was born in Strasbourg. He moved to Switzerland in 1915 where he co-founded the Zurich dada group. During this period and in the 1920s he made wooden reliefs, collages and drawings. He was interested in the effects of chance and also in nature and organic forms. Arp met his future wife Sophie Taeuber in 1922, and they produced many collaborative works. Arp joined the surrealist group in 1925 after the dada movement disbanded. He began making free-standing sculpture in the early 1930s, after previously making only sculptural reliefs.

Glossary terms

  • A radical artistic and literary movement that was a reaction against the cultural climate that supported the First World War. The Dadaists took an anti-establishment attitude, questioning art's status and favouring performance and collage over traditional art techniques. Many Dadaists went on to become involved with Surrealism.