Poetry of the Metropolis: The Affichistes

Cat. Museum Tinguely / Schirn Kunsthalle

Exhibition catalog, edited by Esther Schlicht, Roland Wetzel, Max Hollein
texts (German/English) by Bernard Blistène, Fritz Emslander, Esther Schlicht, Didier Semin, Dominique Stella and an interview by Roland Wetzel with Jacques Villeglé, original texts by François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Mimmo Rotella, Jacques Villeglé, Wolf Vostell and a chronology of the years 1944–1968
280 p with 170 coloured illustrations
305 x 245 mm, softcover with a double folded dust jacket

ISBN 978-3-86442-103-7

78,00 €

Aptonymic painting

During the 1940s and 1950s, the Affichistes appear in Paris with a new and revolutionary artistic format: the tearing down of posters. Ever more present within the cityscape, they assimilate this expanding advertising medium and its particular aesthetics, and formulate from these looted, random images a radical contradiction to the dominant abstract painting of the postwar period. On the one hand, they are interested in the act of violent appropriation of imagery from the public sphere, on the other hand, they celebrate randomness and show a particular interest in language and typography. However, in their action, they see themselves no longer committed to an avant-garde agitprop self-concept, but aim at the visual complexity of contemporary modern means of expression that were eventually picked up on by pop art and, to this day, remain relevant despite all electronic mediality. Book and exhibition provide a comprehensive look at activities spanning two decades (1948-1968) by this important post-war avant-garde that occurred in particular in France, and extend the spectrum by looking at the photographic, cinematic and auditory works of the main protagonists, among them Raymond Hains, Jacques Villeglé, François Dufrêne, Mimmo Rotella, and Wolf Vostell. It also highlights their further specific background, for instance, in décollage, action or happening. Quite surprisingly, many of the works still today appear fresh and radiant.

Museum Tinguely, Basel, 22/10/2014–11/1/2015
Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 5/2–25/5/2015