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The Cover
October 22 2008

Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance

JAMA. 2008;300(16):1850-1851. doi:10.1001/jama.300.16.1850

Among the artists who created and transformed modern art in the first half of the 20th century, Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966) stands out as one of the innovators of significant form, most memorably for the biomorphic forms of his sculptures. A poet first, then a painter, and, only later, a sculptor, Arp was continually experimenting with novel techniques within every available medium, including automatic writing as a way to tap deeper into the creative subconscious. By the 1950s, when Arp was in his 60s, his work had acquired international renown, and he was given major retrospectives in New York and Paris; commissions came from UNESCO for a mural to cover a wall of its center in Paris and from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a monumental wood and metal relief sculpture to complement its new Graduate Center, the first modern building on its campus.