Raymond Hains

The two Breton friends Jacques Villeglé (born in 1926) and Raymond Hains (1926 – 2005), who met in 1945, walked the streets of Montparnasse together. They were in fact the two great figures of the so-called poster artists, although in reality the most appropriate term is rather that of lacerators, a process that began in 1949.

The technique of the lacérateurs consists in finding panels in the street cluttered with superimposed posters, then tearing off certain layers in order to obtain a composition of material effects and figurative images. Both Villeglé and Hains were in contact with the great figures of the French scene in the 1950s.

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Their work is part of the New Realism, named after an exhibition held in 1961 in Paris, which included Arman, François Dufrêne and Yves Klein, and is sometimes seen as a French adaptation of Pop Art.

Raymond Hains made the first poster laceration in 1949, entitled Ach Alma Manetro. This title, a combination of fragments of words revealed by the tearing, is a good representation of Raymond Hains' pronounced and constant taste for language games, as shown in his 1959 work La Palissade, for example.
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