Jean Arp was one of the most vigorously original of twentieth-century European sculptors. This work was first conceived as a small plaster study in the 1930s and belongs to the biomorphic sculptural forms the artist termed "concretions." It was realized in marble in 1953 after dealer Curt Valentin saw the study in Arp's studio and requested that the artist enlarge it. Arp had traveled to Italy the previous year, and the forms and choice of medium in this work reflect the influence of sculpture of the classical world. Torso, lacking a head or limbs, may also refer to the fragmentary state of many of the sculptures surviving from antiquity. However, the softly curving, biomorphic shape of Torso is, as one writer has described it, "complete in its omissions."
White marble on polished black marble base
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph F. Colin (I. Georgia Talmey, class of 1928)
ID Number: SC 1956:13