Sin título (Untitled)

Raymond Hains

Saint-Brieuc, France, 1926 - Paris, France, 2005
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Torn posters on iron sheets
  • Dimensions: 
    200 x 200 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 

Raymond Hains, along with Jacques Villeglé and François Dufrêne, belonged to the group called the décollagistes or affichistes, which made a very significant contribution to the development of the French Nouveau Réalisme arising at the end of the 1950s. Hains’ work posed a challenge, from the very beginning, to any attempt at general classification: selected for the 1959 Biennale des Jeunes Artistes in Paris, the organizers relegated his works to a separate area, since they could not be considered “painting”.
From the outset, Hains’ career developed as a form of permanent experimentation with language and images, redefining the strategies of collage and of ready-made art. Taking collage as his point of departure, he reversed the usual process of sticking elements together by tearing up advertising and propaganda posters. Hains rips the posters from public places in a gesture of “direct appropriation of the real”, thus configuring random linguistic and graphic connections that bear a tangential relationship with social reality. The nature of his work cannot be reduced to the object; rather, his work interacts in a public space dominated by the new strategies aimed at intensifying consumerism. Sin título (Untitled) belongs to the period in which Hains presents his first palissade (fence) covered entirely by successive décollages which give rise to a sequence of rips and removals focusing on the linguistic variations produced by “divesting the writings of their original significance”.