Raymond Hains "Sin título", 1998
- 14 Jan. - 19 Mar. 2000
- Fundação Serralves
Raymond Hains (Saint-Brieuc, Côtes-du-Nord, France, 1926 - Paris, 2005) is a singular, unclassifiable artist who participated in the key moments of post-war French art without ever fully pausing for very long in of any one of them.
Hains’s work explores the world through its underlying linguistic framework, applying himself to the freedom of destruction and reinvention that language itself allows him.
As in the best surrealist tradition, Hains was a flâneur, and the urban derive was an essential method of work for him. The streets were his workshop, and they gave rise to the affiches déchirées (torn posters) that he began working on in 1949 with Jacques Villeglé. Both artists captured fragments of old, ripped posters, and transformed them into large-scale abstract compositions. With these works, Hains produced a sui generis version of Informalism, and offered an ironic take on Abstract Expressionism, calling himself an “inaction painter”. In 1959, these works led to his palissades (palisades), which were also an ironic response to American Pop and a prelude to the conceptual practices of artists such as Daniel Buren.
The exhibition, which brought together a hundred works from all of Hains’s creative periods, did not easily fit into the category of a retrospective. Rather, it was structured as a narrative in progress made up of moments, readings and encounters linked together by chance.