The large sculpture "New Goddess", known as French master sculptor Arman's "number one" work, has yet to show its face in any exhibition anywhere in the world.
This morning, the mystery was finally unveiled in Shanghai Art Fair. It was learned that it was the first time on the Chinese mainland that the heirs of the world's top-notch sculptor allow his heavyweight sculpture to reveal itself in Shanghai.
As one of Arman's representative works, the large sculpture "New Goddess" was created in 1996. It is 3.6 meters tall and is listed number one and is the only one of its kind in the world. Till now, this piece has not been on display in any exhibitions anywhere in the world. At today's uncrating ceremony, the sculpture was indeed in possession of a certain power.
The artist dared to use the symbol of America's independence -- the Statue of Liberty -- as his original base and after cut-ups and artistic recombination in layers, re-create a brand new image from the original giant lady-goddess. In the hands of the master, the lady of liberty has acquired new meaning, representing how different nations, faiths and races react to the notion of liberty.
According to industry insiders, Arman, who passed away at the age of 76 last month, had an affinity with Shanghai. His other works have appeared several years ago time and again in the Shanghai Art Fair. In addition, in contrast to classic works which earned critics but not the public's praises elsewhere, Arman's sculptural creations have always "wowed" the audience in Shanghai.
Following a Shanghai company paying a sky-high price of 2.1 million RMB (US$250,000) to acquire Arman's "Venus and the Cello", five other Arman sculptures have found homes in Shanghai.
His artistic works have made many new record prices in sculpture auctions in Shanghai. "Aman's number one" finally picked Shanghai to show its "face" is perhaps also with an eye targeting the strong art auction market here.
(Chinanews.cn November 17, 2005)