Affichiste is the name (literally ‘poster designer’) taken by the French artists and photographers Raymond Hains (b.1926) and Jacques de la Villeglé (b.1926), who met in 1949 and created a technique to create collages from pieces of torn-down posters during the early 1950s. These works, displayed for the first time in 1957, were called affiches lacérées (torn posters).
The affichistes were part of the Nouveau Réalisme movement, which emerged in France in the late 1950s and was characterised by a focus on everyday objects and the urban environment. The affichistes’ collages were made from the fragments of posters they collected from the streets of Paris, and they aimed to capture the vitality and energy of the city. The affichistes were interested in how the posters decayed over time, and they saw their work as a way of preserving and celebrating this ephemeral art form.
To produce precise images and effects, Villeglé manipulated the posters. Still, Hains left them more or less as he found them to illustrate the advertising world’s aesthetic bankruptcy. In the 1950s, other artists, particularly the Italian Mimmo Rotella and the German Wolf Vostell, adopted a similar technique.
The “affichistes” played a significant role in developing collage as an art form and brought attention to the artistic potential of found materials and the aesthetics of urban decay. Their works challenged traditional notions of artistic creation and explored the intersection of art and everyday life.
Prints and Posters
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