Artwork Detail

Rue du Temple — manuscrite
French, b. 1926
Torn posters mounted on canvas
45 5/8 x 31 13/16 "
University purchase with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shoenberg; Mrs. R. A. Frevert in memory of her son; the Samuel Kootz Gallery; Rabbi and Mrs. F. M. Isserman; Mr. and Mrs. James W. Singer, Jr.; and Mr. and Mrs. John Shoenberg, by exchange, 2011
WU 2011.0008
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
In the late 1940s the French artist Jacques Villeglé first introduced décollage, an artistic practice that entailed collecting torn poster fragments from public spaces as readymade artworks. In 1960 his interest in new modes of realism prompted him to join the Nouveaux Réalistes, a group of artists known for utilizing everyday urban materials. Rue du Temple is named for the location where Villeglé found the scraps that comprise this work. Using the remnants of defaced propaganda posters, he presented, on one hand, a palimpsestic patchwork of textual fragments abstractly evoking France’s national tricolor flag. On the other hand, the fragmented words and phrases peppering Villeglé’s canvas—“for the workers,” “for reform,” “solidarity”— reveal legible traces of the political rhetoric and vandalism in the tide of leftist protest that swept through Paris in 1968. Through these different strategies Rue du Temple archives the realities of a society torn asunder by contesting sociopolitical visions. [Permanent collection label, 2016]