Painter, sculptor, poet Hans Arp co-founded the Dada movement at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in 1916. In ‘Oli Bimba,’ published to accompany a 2012 exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Zurich, renowned Dada scholar Juri Steiner—the exhibition’s curator and book’s editor—traces the early years of Arp’s artistic practice and community. With select installation views of diverse works by Arp positioned alongside those of his fellow artists, including objects made by his wife, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and a plate section featuring color reproductions of the exhibited works, readers receive an overview of Hans Arp’s enigmatic practice.
Hans Arp is a familiar figure of classical Modernism and was a key contributor in the development of Dada and Surrealism in the early twentieth century. Focusing his attention on everyday objects, Arp created his own unique ‘object language’ using a nonsensical vocabulary: plate, fork, knife, clock, tie, moustache, lips, breasts. With a playful hand he juggled the dominant art currents of the early twentieth century, combining seemingly contradictory geometric and organic formal idioms with the artistic ‘-isms’ of his epoch.