Pardon our dust while we update this corner of the website.

A larger image is unavailable for this object
due to copyright, trademark or related rights.


Jean (Hans) Arp, French (born Germany), 1886 - 1966

Made in France, Europe


Painted wood

27 1/2 x 33 3/8 x 1 1/2 inches (69.9 x 84.8 x 3.8 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

Social Tags

abstract [x]   constellation [x]   dimensional [x]   german-born artist [x]   hanging sculpture [x]   monochrome [x]   painted wood [x]   playful [x]   random [x]   relief [x]   rhythmic [x]   sculpture [x]   white [x]   wood sculpture [x]  

[Add Your Own Tags]

This monochrome wood relief is part of a series that Jean (Hans) Arp produced in the late 1920s and early 1930s in which white amoebic shapes float in random configurations that suggest cellular life or planetary movement. The object-like nature of Constellation, in which the frame is an integral part of the composition, renegotiates the boundaries between painting and sculpture.


Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), Paris; sold to Louise and Walter C. Arensberg, Los Angeles, 1937 [1]; gift to PMA, 1950. 1. See letter from Duchamp to Arensbergs, September 8, 1951 (PMA Arensberg Archives, CA Use Tax file), stating that he sold them the work from his private collection. A series of letters from Galka Scheyer in Hollywood to Hans Arp in 1933-1934 discuss a relief referred to only as "Configuration in White" or "das weisse Relief" purchased by the Arensbergs through Scheyer. Since "Constellation" is the only work by Arp in the Arensberg collection as bequeathed to the PMA in 1950, either the Arensbergs acquired a different work of his and subsequently sold or traded it, or Duchamp was mistaken and "Constellation" was purchased through Scheyer in 1933.