Left to right: 2017.88.M, 2017.88.L, 2017.88.K (upper), 2017.88.J (lower), 2017.88.I, 2017.88.H © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2017.88
People
Jean (Hans) Arp, French (Strasbourg, Alsace, Germany 1886 - 1966 Basel)
Title
Constellations II
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture
Date
1950/1958
Places
Creation Place: Europe
Period
Modern
Culture
French
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Thirteen panels of American redwood
Technique
Carved
Provenance
Harvard Law School, transferred; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2017.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Transfer from Harvard Law School
Copyright
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Accession Year
2017
Object Number
2017.88
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Walter Gropius commissioned this relief for a dining room in the Harvard Graduate Center's Harkness Commons, which opened in 1950. The tables and chairs soon damaged the lower parts of the relief, prompting Arp to rearrange it in 1958 to a more compact configuration titled Constellations II.

Although Arp referred to the work as a relief, it is closer in form and spirit to installation art. In a relief, the design is carved from and fixed to its ground; in Constellations II, 13 of Arp's signature biomorphic shapes executed in American redwood attach directly to the wall. Their installation across two walls surrounds the viewer to create an immersive space.
Publication History

Simona Martinoli and Roland Scotti, ed., Public Arp: Hans Arp Architekturbezogene Arbeiten, exh. cat., Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess (Zurich, 2019), pp. 62-83, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

Hans Arp’s Constellations II, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/08/2019 - 07/28/2019

Subjects and Contexts

The Bauhaus

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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu