Pop Art in France: Le Nouveau Réalisme



Nouveau Réalisme

The “Nouveau Réalisme” was the presence of pop art movement in France. Pierre Restany released the movement in 1960 with a critic that launch the pop art movement by the draft “Constitutive Declaration of New Realism”. The “Nouveau Réalisme” proclaimed a new way of perceiving the real. In particular, nine artists signed the declaration in Yves Klein workshop, who had the same idea and were united in the direction of the mass culture. In addition, in the words of Restany, it was a “poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality”.

We can appreciate that the principle is highly applicable in the work of Villeglé, who applied the technique of “Décollage” (this is a technique that involves cutting through layers of posters and images to create a new image).

Yves Klein
Yves Klein in the workshop


There are differences between the American Pop Art and the French Pop Art. On the one hand, American artists were more concerns with the commercial culture. On the other hand, French artists of the Nouveau Réalisme were more focus on the objects that with the painting. We can see many examples such as Spoerri, who use cutlery, tabletops, even food to make “snare-pictures” as an artistic media.

Other important Nouveau Réalisme artists from the time were;

  • Yves Klein
  • Jean Tinguely
  • Arman
  • François Dufrêne
  • Raymond Hains
  • Niki de Saint Phalle
  • Christo
You can see more incredible Pop Art paintings with a single click: