Nouveau réalisme

1960 - 1970

Movement of French and other European artists announced by the publication in Paris of a short manifesto of 27 October 1960, drawn up by the French critic Pierre Restany (b 1930) and signed by the original Nouveaux Réalistes. These were Arman, the French artist François Dufrêne (1930–82), Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and the French artist Jacques de la Villeglé (b 1926). The Nouveaux Réalistes were a loosely organized band of artists, working in a variety of media, but chiefly distinguished by their reaction against the prevailing aesthetic of Lyrical Abstraction or Art informel. In contrast to the abstract painters of the late 1940s and 1950s, the Nouveaux Réalistes favoured materials taken from everyday urban life. Their work can be seen as a response to the rise of an American-style, consumer society in post-war Europe, and as a reaction against abstraction it had much in common with that of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, while their embrace of popular culture foreshadowed Pop art of the 1960s. But unlike Pop artists, Nouveau Réalismeshowed little interest in painting.
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© Grove Art / OUP

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