Dates: 1958-1965

Origin: Europe

Key Artists: Christo, Gerhard Richter, Yves Klein

A term coined by the French critic Pierre Restany in 1960 (in a manifesto of this name) to characterize the work of a group of artists who incorporated real objects (often junk items) in their work to make ironic comments on modern life. The Nouveau Réalisme movement was part of the vogue for assemblage and had affinities with Junk sculpture and Pop art. Restany also recognized a debt to Dada—hence the title of an exhibition he held at his Galerie J in Paris in 1961, 40° au-dessus de Dada (40 Degrees above Dada). In the following year another representative exhibition, entitled New Realists, took place at the Sidney Janis gallery in New York. Yves Klein was closely associated with Restany in the foundation of Nouveau Réalisme, and among the other leading artists involved were Arman (1928– ), César (1921– ), and Tinguely (all three exhibited at both the Paris and New York shows mentioned above).

Chilvers, Ian. “Nouveau Réalisme.” The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Ed. Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <;

Yves Klein

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