press release

The 40th anniversary of the Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) is an opportunity to present for the first time in Toulouse a collection of Nouveau Realist works.

The Nouveau Réalisme movement began in Yves Klein’s studio in 1960, where Pierre Restany brought together a group of artists whose collective singularity was "Nouveau Réalisme—new ways of perceiving the real." Arman, César, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, and Jacques Villeglé all signed the manifesto, joined by Niki de Saint Phalle, Gérard Deschamps, César, and Mimmo Rotella the following year, and later Christo. Nouveau Réalisme addressed the rise in industrialisation and consumerism in society. Drawing material for their works from the daily life of the early 1960s, Nouveau Realists used everyday objects, adverts, posters, junk, neon lights... Their works were however dense and radical, marked by action and movement; destroying, ripping, compressing, assembling, sticking, tearing, stretching, stamping, and wrapping. Each artist had their own particular method of creating a "poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality." The diversity and vitality of Nouveau Réaliste works will be showcased at les Abattoirs in a journey into the heart of the movement; accompanied by films, the exhibition will highlight how much the group has influenced public space, and our lives. You’ll see the militant, often comical side to the works, many of which are on loan from the Pompidou Centre and Tiguely museum (Basel). To complete this unique show, some works by artists close to the movement (Malaval, Raynaud, Rauschenberg, etc.) will be included.

Daniel Spoerri, les dadas des deux Daniel Daniel Spoerri (born 1930), founding member of Nouveau Réalisme, will be taking over the basement of les Abattoirs. Rather than just a historical presentation, he designed les dadas des deux Daniel, a vast cabinet of curiosities comprising his works, his ethnographic collection and the Daniel Cordier collection; given to the Pompidou Centre and on loan here at les Abattoirs. For Dadas des deux Daniel, Daniel Spoerri will set up the exhibition to show the complicity between his works, and both his and Daniel Cordier’s collection.

Daniel Cordier (born 1920) is an art dealer, writer, historian, and critic. During World War II he was secretary to Jean Moulin, a high-profile member of the French Resistance. After the war he became an art dealer and one of the most generous collectors to art museums in France. His donations of Modern and Contemporary works, and also ethnographic artefacts, art works and curios from all the continents, make up a substantial part of les Abattoirs collection; a permanent regional loan from the Centre Pompidou. Just like for Daniel Spoerri, where his work slots intrinsically in with his collection, for Daniel Cordier the very different geographical zones, cultures and themes of his chosen pieces go happily hand in hand.

Guest artists: A contemporary echo of Nouveau Réalisme Les Abattoirs has invited several French and international artists to take part in the exhibition celebrating Nouveau Réalisme, held for the 40th anniversary of the Centre Pompidou.

Artists include: Joël Andrianomearisoa, Tomaž Furlan, Adela Goldbard, Cinthia Marcelle, Présence Panchounette, Kevin Rouillard, and Valerie Snobeck.

From a historical point of view, Nouveau Réalist works seem to be both an entry in 1960s art and society, and a major part of the foundations which make up the the way in which objects were used in 20th century art—from Picasso’s collages and Duchamp’s readymade until today.