Torso with Buds (Nu aux bourgeons), 1961 Bronze, 73 7/8 x 15 1/2 x 15 in. (187.6 x 39.4 x 38.1 cm)
Other (Base): 2 1/2 x 16 x 16in., ~125lb. (6.4 x 40.6 x 40.6cm, ~56.7kg)
Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas
Torso with Buds is one of a long series of works by Arp synthesizing the human and botanical to produce an imaginative new species of anatomy. Precedents are found as early as the Torso of 1931 and Growth of 1938 (C. Giedion-Welcker, Jean Arp, New York, 1957, pp. 63 and 86) and continue into the Dancing Flower and Flower Nude of 1957, Torso Sheaf of 1958, and Bud Figure of 1959 (Trier et al., 1968, pls. 3, 5, 6, and 22). Deriving ultimately from Art Nouveau and Symbolist art, Arp's biomorphic language infused Surrealism with images alluding to growth fecundity, and the natural world in general, helping give universality to private interior images. Free of Surrealist psychology, however, Arp's sculpture is marked by a poetry of wonder and joy celebrating life itself, as is felt strongly in the light, upward rhythms and jaunty posture of Torso with Buds.
There are three plasters of this sculpture, two in the Fondation Arp and Sophie Täuber-Arp in Rolandseck, West Germany, and one in the Von der Heydt Museum, in Wuppertal, West Germany, the gift of Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach. According to a certificate in the Nasher archives written and signed by Arp in March 1963, this cast was number one from an edition of three. A photograph published in 1968 (Trier et al., 1968, p. 52) shows one of these casts installed in Arp's own garden at Meudon in France. According to the Fondation Arp, the 0/3 cast has not yet been made but is still planned (correspondence with the author, 1986).