Arman was born in Nice, France in 1928. After studying in Nice at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs, Arman went on to study in Paris at the École du Louvre. He moved to New York City in the 1960s and became a naturalized citizen in 1973. Arman was a member of the Nouveau réalisme (new realism) group alongside artists such as Yves Klein, Francois Dufrene, Raymond Hains, and Jean Tinguely.
Initially an abstract painter, Arman became more interested in ideas surrounding the emergence of Pop Art which involved sculpture techniques. In the early 1960s, the artist began a series of works directed towards consumerism, waste, and mass production, known has poubelles, or trash cans. Marcel Duchamp’s idea of the readymade are apparent in many of Arman’s works such as his “accumulations”—combined multiples of found objects that were either cast or incased in Plexiglas. Arman’s prints similarly reflect this theme of repetition and commonplace objects.
Arman’s work can be found in many American collections such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York; Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Allen Art Museum at Oberlin College in Ohio; Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita, Kansas; Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York; and The Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan.