In collaboration with the artist’s estate, the exhibition features major works and presents an exceptional opportunity to discover or rediscover the artist’s development over nearly six decades, beginning with his photographs of war destructions and first abstract photographs from the mid-1940s and concluding with his neon works from the early 2000s, based on the Borromean knots by Lacan.
Raymond Hains is widely regarded as one of the most important and challenging French artists of the second half of the twentieth century. An unclassifiable personality, often associated with Nouveau Réalisme and close to European post-war avant-garde movements Lettrisme and Situationnisme, Raymond Hains is mainly well-known for his torn posters and palissades (board fences) found in the streets, starting in 1949.
Constantly imagining new forms and media during his career, as the “Giant Matchboxes” (pop sculptures signed by two fictional artists created by Hains in the 1960s), the “Hypnagogic glasses” (eyewear made of ribbed glass), the “Sidewalk Sculptures” (found and photographed in the streets) or the “Macintoshages” (computer-based manipulations), among many non conformists creative processes, Hains’s oeuvre is always stimulating the viewer’s eyes, experience, memory and imagination.
His experimental works on photography, film, painting and objects opened the way to a singular, precursory and influential vision of the world: Hains’s art is indeed mainly based on language, with references to literature, history, mythology and his personal own biography towards linguistic speculations. Using all the poetic, playful and visual possibilities of the language, in what has been called an “aesthetics of coincidence”, Hains built a complex, joyful and captivating Oeuvre to decrypt. “I am myself a kind of Web. I am working on a spider’s web, or a piece of Brittany lace,” Hains said in an interview in 2000.
The exhibition features key-works from different periods, all displayed in a non-chronological dialogue with each other, intending to offer an exploration of the infinite and pleasurable Hainsian web. The three spaces, independent and interconnected, highlight three facets of the artist: - “Raymond la science” in Berlin Bleibtreustrasse (with a focus on the experimental aspect of Hains’s Oeuvre), - “Raymond l’abstrait’ in Berlin Goethestrasse (with a focus on the strong visual aspect and the chain of spiraling topics) and - “Raymond le disert (disert = loquacious)” in Paris (where the language and the logic of association takes its power).