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Seita, 1970

Seita, 1970
43 3/4 x 35 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches
Paint on wood
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes


Décollage, 1989-90

Décollage, 1989-90
Torn posters
118 1/2 x 161 3/8 inches
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Photo credit: CNAC/MNAM/Dist. Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, New York


This Man is Dangerous, 1957

This Man is Dangerous, 1957
Torn posters on linen
37 1/2 x 24 inches
Collection Ginette Daufrêne, Michel Marcuzzi, Paris

Marion Meyer

Raymond Hains


From the moment Raymond Hains (1926–2005) debuted his abstract
photographs in 1946––dubbed photographies hypnagogiques, referencing
the liquid state between sleep and consciousness––to his final experiments
with computers and internet-inspired art––spryly dubbed Macintoshages,
for obvious reasons––his goal (if that is indeed the right word for an artist
whose lifestyle and working habits more closely resembled a pack-rat
drifter than a product-making, career-minded artist) was the conceptualization
of a total universe based on a type of stringent realism intent on
exposing the literal and physical links between knowledge, language,
people, places, and objects.

          In the 1950’s, Hains began to collect and collage together found posters
from street advertisements. He selected his material according to the possibilities
of recadrage: the potential an object has to behave in new and
surprising ways by cropping and refocusing its context. The collisions and
chance encounters of seemingly discordant imagery in Hains’ torn poster
works reveal a taste for visual and verbal puns, for games of chance, and a
deep mischievous streak. Sometimes, a work is quite literally meant to be
read, inverting standard notions about looking. At other times, words are
bled of their meanings and made subordinate to their inherent abstract
qualities. In a single work, places, names, and references of all kinds are
jammed together, mirroring not only Hains’ own peripatetic lifestyle, but
also the ramped up pace and displacement of contemporary life.

MARION MEYER is a Parisian art dealer and art historian, and is widely considered the foremost expert on Man Ray.

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