Jacques Villeglé: Décollages

831 N. Highland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038
Feb 14, 6 PM - 8 PM — ends Apr 01, 2023
We are happy to announce a special Project Room installation of important décollages by Jaques Villeglé, the influential French affichiste and early appropriation artist. This presentation showcases eight works from 1957 - 1987 by the late Nouveau Realist artist (d. 2022) who was instrumental in bringing ‘the streetscape’ into the space of the exhibition.

The exhibition of his early decollages will open Tuesday, February 14th and will be on view through April 1, 2023.

A founding member of the Nouveau Réalisme art group (1960-1970), Villeglé was an early appropriation artist, a ‘scavenger’ who spent most of his life wandering the streets of Paris, pulling torn advertising posters off the ancient walls and pronouncing them Art. “In seizing a poster, I seize history,” he says. “What I gather is the reflection of an era.” The artist wrote, “I anticipated that the eventual output of this series would surpass the production of the most imaginative of my generation’s painters, and that my a priori determination to focus on the oeuvre of a diffuse collectivity would give me greater freedom than any achieved by the artist facing a blank canvas.” Villeglé was an archivist using anonymous crowdsourcing to create art.

From 1949 onward, Jacques Villeglé began systematically collecting scraps of posters torn from walls around town, inventing a brand new artistic practice which in turn gave rise to a new type of work of art. This radical re-appropriation of an otherwise ordinary material enabled him to capture the spirit of the times and the image of a society driven by communication which expressed itself above all through its obsession with current affairs and the omnipresence of the media. Jacques Villeglé’s works – from his invention of a socio-political alphabet drawing on symbols, codes, and acronyms borrowed from subversive and counter-cultural graffiti, to his transfer of torn posters from the street to the exhibition space – highlight the political dimension of our urban communities. His torn posters, with their fragmented images and dislocated typography, are spontaneous, anonymous, and collective ; they invite the viewer to lose himself in a space that is as fictional as it is poetic.