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Shake up at Arp foundation

German organisation dedicated to late sculptor Jean Arp is moving to Berlin. New curator wanted

Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Jean (Hans) Arp

A foundation dedicated to the late sculptor Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966) aims to raise its profile by relocating to Berlin later this year from the remote town of Rolandseck, west Germany. The foundation, named Stiftung Hans Arp und Sophie Taeuber-Arp e.V., was established in 1977 by the dealer Johannes Wasmuth in consultation with Arp’s widow, Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach.

“The Stiftung is due to move to a new research centre and office in Berlin, which will open in the winter of 2012,” a spokeswoman for the foundation says. “A reorganisation of the Stiftung Arp in 2010 led the foundation to focus on scholarly and public access issues, supporting discourse on Hans Arp… all of these missions can be better accomplished from Berlin as the centre of the German art world. In comparison, Rolandseck was too far away for many interested scholars and large parts of the public.”

Walburga Krupp, the former curator at the foundation, departed earlier this year. “Krupp left the Stiftung in June to work on her doctorate on Sophie Taeuber-Arp. She is still in contact with the Stiftung and uses the foundation for her personal research purposes,” the spokeswoman adds. A new curator is due to be appointed. Krupp says, meanwhile, that she decided to focus on her doctorate after leaving the foundation.

Meanwhile, a recent survey of Arp’s works compiled in collaboration with the Stiftung has proved controversial. “Hans Arp: Sculptures, A Critical Survey”, published by Hatje Cantz and edited by the art historian Arie Hartog, focuses on the “confusing discussion of replicas, posthumous casts, forgeries and casting rights”.

But two other Arp foundations—the Fondation Arp in Clamart, France, and the Fondazione Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach in Locarno, Switzerland—strongly criticised the project. The Clamart-based organisation issued a statement saying that it played no part in the production of the book and that “the opinions expressed are not those of the foundation” (The Art Newspaper, Art Basel, 15-17 June). The Rolandseck-based foundation subsequently issued a statement, saying that it owns the largest collection of works by Arp and holds the copyright of all his works.

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