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Arthur Aeschbacher (Genève 1923)


Arthur Aeschbacher - Demi ciel pleine nuit
Arthur Aeschbacher - Longue Barbacole 1962

Document sans nom

Aeschbacher is considered a representative of the Nouveau Réaliste group active in Paris during the 1950-1960s. The Nouveaux Réalistes tended to see the world as an image from which they could take parts and incorporate them into their works. Inventors of the so-called décollage technique, the opposite of collage, the Nouveau Réalistes wanted to avoid what they regarded as the traps of figurative art. The creative disintegration of paper then involves careful reconstruction through a thoughtful choice of which papers to use for a composition. The pureness of expression of this technique lies in its translation of an imaginary world close to the heart of the artist. 

The Nouveaux Réalistes used lacerated posters to reconstruct a reality that equals a poetic recycling of the urban industrial and advertising worlds. The décollage technique primarily focused on the anonymous and on the marginal remains of civilization. Although clearly adhering to the use of the Nouveau Réaliste technique of décollage, Aeschbacher did not share the group's sociological vision. Rather than focussing on using the lacerated posters in order to create another image, Aeschbacher used the poster as a painter's medium. For him, the lacerated poster is above all a way to compose an image with colour and texture, guiding him to superimpose so many layers of lacerated posters, so that they become an abstracted composition. 

Following studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva, Aeschbacher moved to Paris where he attended the Académie Julian and the studio of Fernand Léger. Under the patronage of André Breton, Aeschbacher had his first one-man show in Paris in 1951. Following his use of lacerated posters during the 1950s and 1960s, Aeschbacher's work evolved during the 1970's into a stronger relationship with linguistic references. In his series of 'Lettres éclatées' and 'stores surfaces' (1973), he developed a relation to letters and gradually abandoned the technique of collage-décollage. During the 1980s Aeschbacher's compositions involved linguistic references organised along the shapes of arches and circles 

Aeschbacher's work has been included in museum exhibitions at the Louvre (1964: 50 ans de collages) and at the Centre Pompidou (1985: Lisible-Illisible). In 1993, the Centre d'Art contemporain of Corbeil-Essonnes honored him with a retrospective exhibition.


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