ARP | Museum Beelden aan Zee | Beeldhouwkunst in Den Haag


6 march - 15 december 2024


A Petrified Forest

Jean Arp (1886-1966) believed in the intrinsic connection between art and nature, creating sculptures that harmonized with the natural world. Using plaster as his primary medium, Arp developed organic forms that blurred the line between abstraction and representation. His studio, akin to a petrified, enchanted forest, housed plaster models, each form crafted at least twice for exploration, dissection, and reintegration into new creations – often also in different sizes and materials.

Arp's affinity for nature led him to display sculptures outdoors, allowing them to weather and mature naturally. In 2023, the Stiftung Hans Arp und Sophie Taeuber-Arp e.V. donated 220 plasters to ten institutions globally. Museum Beelden aan Zee has received 21 plasters and one bronze. Arp never considered his plasters as market-ready, making the donation particularly significant for institutions that would otherwise never be able to acquire such works.

The exhibition Hans Arp – A Petrified Forest presents the donated plasters for the first time and in an exhibition design resembling the artists’ studio in Meudon, France. Arp’s journey into sculpture began in the 1930s, with the donated works reflecting the culmination of his innovative exploration until his passing in 1966.


Photo and video: Studio Gerrit Schreurs