Born Armand Pierre Fernandez in 1928, the Nice native enrolled at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in 1946, upon completing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and mathematics. He became friends with artists Yves Klein and Claude Pascal, whom he encountered at a judo class. His immersion within the artistic milieu inspired the young painter to begin signing with his only first name as an homage to Van Gogh, who signed his works “Vincent.” Eventually, in 1957, he officially removed the letter ‘d’ from his first name, and used the name “Arman” as his public persona.

Arman began his artistic career as an abstract painter, though he became best known for series that involved the destruction and recomposition of objects, known as "Accumulations" and “Poubelles”. When he witnessed the overwhelmingly positive response to his first Accumulations in 1959, Aman decided to dedicate the majority of his artistic output to these themes. Accumulations were collections of common and identical objects which he arranged either within polyester castings or Plexiglas cases. In 1962, Aman began making welded versions, fusing the same type of metal objects together. Poubelles were small collections of household trash displayed in Plexiglas cases, highlighting the perishable and materialistic character of society in the Western world.

In 1961, Arman moved to New York, where he would reside part-time for the remainder of his life. During the next several years, the artist explored many subsequent series that were continuations of the same theme, including “Colères”, which featured broken objects mounted on a pedestal or canvas, and “Combustions”, which consisted of items that had been burned. Regarded as one of the most prolific and inventive creators of the late 20th century, Arman’s work was inspired by Dada and the “Ready-Made”, and in turn became a strong influence on and bridge to Pop Art. His art resides in the collections of prominent institutions worldwide such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.