The Myth of Nouveau Ralisme: Art and the Performative in Postwar France

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Kaira M. Cabaas

Product Overview

On October 27, 1960, art critic Pierre Restany named a group of Paris-based artists the Nouveaux Ralistes (New Realists) in a founding declaration that stated, The New Realists recognize their collective singularity. New Realism = new perceptual approaches of the real. Besides Restany, this group included Arman, Franois Dufrne, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, and Jacques Villegl. Their work incorporated consumer objects and new media in response to the postwar periods painterly modes and its burgeoning consumer and industrial society. However, they did not share a common avant-garde strategy.

The Myth of Nouveau Ralisme is a critical reassessment of this important neo-avant-garde movement. Kaira M. Cabaas offers an interdisciplinary account of their work and challenges the ideas of Restany, who mandated a direct appropriation of the real. Cabaas posits that, for the Nouveaux Ralistes, realism engaged performative practices to produce alternative social meanings.


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