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Myth of Nouveau Réalisme Book Launch

image from Myth of Nouveau Réalisme Book Launch

specific object / david platzker


The Myth of Nouveau Réalisme : Art and the Performative in Postwar France

a book launch to be held at Specific Object

Saturday, April 6, 2013, from 4 to 6 PM

Specific Object / David Platzker is pleased to celebrate the launch of The Myth of Nouveau Réalisme : Art and the Performative in Postwar France by Kaira M. Cabañas, published this month by Yale University Press. The event will take place at Specific Object on Saturday, April 6, 2013, 4 - 6 PM.

On October 27, 1960, internationally-renowned art critic Pierre Restany named a group of Paris-based artists the "Nouveaux Réalistes" (New Realists) in a founding declaration that stated, "The New Realists recognize their collective singularity. New Realism = new perceptual approaches of the real." Besides Restany, this group included Arman, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, and Jacques Villeglé. Their work incorporated consumer objects and new media and offered a response to the postwar period's painterly modes and its burgeoning consumer society and industrial expansion. The Myth of Nouveau Réalisme is a timely critical reassessment of this important neo-avant-garde movement. Kaira M. Cabañas offers an interdisciplinary account of their work and challenges the ideas of Restany who endorsed the "direct appropriation of the real" in Nouveaux Réaliste production. Cabañas instead tracks how these artists engaged performative practices to produce alternative social meanings.

Kaira M. Cabañas is a lecturer and director of the M.A. program in modern art in the department of art history and archaeology at Columbia University. Her writings have appeared in a wide range of scholarly journals and museum catalogs. In 2012 she served as guest curator for the exhibition Specters of Artaud : Language and the Arts in the 1950s at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

The book launch is supported by the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and Yale University Press.

Specific Object is located at 601 West 26th Street / Floor 2M / Room M285, New York City. Telephone (212) 242-6253.

For more information regarding Specific Object please visit: or email Specific Object / David Platzker at

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