For the first time in Italy, thirteen works by one of the late XX century’s most prolific and innovative artists are currently on show at the Cardi Gallery in Milan. The artist is Arman, the works from the series he called Emersions, created in the late 1990s.
Each of them consists of part of a household object applied to a canvas then coated in acrylic paint. The impression is that the objects have risen through a viscous liquid to emerge on its surface. It’s hardly surprising, then, to discover that Arman was thinking of tragically polluted landscapes, of human habitats swamped in oil or mud.
A French-born American, Arman combined painting and objects from the start of his artistic career. Initially he used objects as stamps, for the paint or ink impressions they left; later the objects themselves were incorporated into his art. Among the concepts for which he achieved international acclaim were the Accumulations (of the same object) and Poubelles (of strewn rubbish). He variously sliced, smashed and burned objects before arranging them on canvas.
The Emersions came later in life, when Arman had richly extended and varied the accumulations theme and was known for at least a couple of monumental sculptures.
Cardi Gallery is in Corso di Porta Nuova, at number 38. The show, curated in collaboration with Corice Arman and the Arman Marital Trust, runs until June 23rd 2017 and is supplemented by a book about the artist.