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Poetry of the Metropolis: The Affichistes

The Affichistes
24.5 × 30.5 cm
280 pgs
Contemporary Art

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 a self-conception as avant-garde agitprop, 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. This 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 further their specific backgrounds, for instance, in décollage, action or happening. Quite surprisingly, many of the works still today appear fresh and radiant.

Softcover with double-folded dust jacket, perfect-bound, b&w and colour throughout.

  1. poetry of the metropolis

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