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WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY SCULPTURE TOUR

Accord Final

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Accord FinalArtist - Arman Fernandez
Born - 1928
Origin - France
Year Built - 1981

About the Artist: The French artist Arman has stated, in reference to works such as Accord Final, that "there is a logic to destruction. If you break a rectangular box, you get something cubist. If you break a violin, you get something romantic." Subtitled They Wouldn't Let Me Play Carnegie Hall, Accord Final is a bronze casting of a demolished baby grand piano. Arman began creating his "destructions" in 1959 with his Violins brules, instruments that he smashed, dissected, and then recomposed on wood panels. Accord Final takes this process one step further by suspending the act of destruction in the permanence of bronze, leaving "an accident interrupted in its final stages." The results mediate between flux and permanence, creation and destruction.

Accord Final was first exhibited as part of a 1983 installation Arman's Orchestra at the Marisa del Re Gallery in New York. The demands of casting fragmented objects of wood and metal in bronze led Arman to seek the assistance of Regis Bocquel of Normandy, who eventually arrived at a successful process. With Bocquel's help, Arman later bronzed a roomful of burned Louis Quinze furniture, using the term "arrested catastrophe" to describe the state of material flux.

Born Armand Fernandez, the artist changed his name to Arman in 1958 after a catalogue from the Galerie Iris Clert accidentally omitted the "d" from his first name. He spent much of his early life in his native city of Nice, earning degrees in philosophy and mathematics at the Nice Academie in 1946. He entered the Ecole Nationale d'Arts Decoratifs in Nice that same year only to withdraw in protest against the conservatism of the school administration. Arman met aspiring artist and philosopher Yves Klein (1928-62) the following year, and the two men began a friendship and artistic collaboration that lasted until Klein's early death in 1962. Both were founding members of the group known as Les Nouveaux Realistes, which rejected the perceived excesses of abstract painting by embracing the detritus of everyday existence. Arman, in particular, looked to refuse and discarded objects in order to explore "new perceptive approaches to reality."