‘Jacques Villeglé. Els murs tenen la paraula’
Jacques Villeglé. The walls have the word is the retrospective that the Stämpfli Foundation – Contemporary Art Museum in Sitges is dedicating to the French artist, one of the most outstanding figures in the artistic universe of the second half of the 20th century. This is the first exhibition that Villeglé (Quimper, Brittany, France, 1926) has offered in Catalonia and on display is a painstakingly chosen selection of the three fundamental hubs of his work (the affiches lacérées, the sociopolitical alphabets and the hypergraphics), selected by the exhibit´s curator, Ferran Martínez Sancho, along with the artist himself.
The exhibition occupies The Foundation´s Rooms 2 and 3, while Room 1 is dedicated to a selection from the permanent collection. This is the third exhibit organized by the Foundation since the opening of its facilities in April 2011, following the monograph on Icelandic artist Erró (April 2012) and the op art show Cinetik ! (April 2013). As on the two previous occasions, this exhibition offers the general public a collection of works that have never been on display in Catalonia and a look at artists with an important role in the recent contemporary art universe.
The walls have the word offers a representative journey through Jacques Villeglé’s artistic career, through the lines that have marked and distinguished his career: the affiches lacérées (ripped or lacerated posters), the sociopolitical alphabets and the hypergraphics. The show also exhibits three sculptures by Villeglé and twelve documents on the process of creation of Hepérile éclaté (1950-52), one of the ultra-lettrist experiments that the French artist pioneered along with François Dufrêne and Raymond Hains.
The exhibition consists of 63 pieces that embrace a large part of Jacques Villeglé’s career, from his first work made in 1947 from the remains of steel wire found on the Saint-Malo beach, part of the stage of World War II combats, to some of his most recent hypergraphics, like La Sagrada Família, from 2012. The walls have the word captures almost seventy years of Villeglé’s artistic calling based on a global vision of his career and, at the same time, an in-depth sampling of his most representative works.
Jacques Villeglé has his own place in the history of contemporary art, thanks to both the impact of his works and to having played a leading role, along with François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains and Mimmo Rotella, in “the first genuine European contribution to the development of a new artistic language after Dadaism and surrealism”, according to Benjamin H.D. Buchloh’s remarks.
A founding member of the Nouveaux réalistes in 1960, Jacques Villeglé proposed a poetics of the urban landscape closely linked to the European social and economic structure of the second half of the 20th century. And at the same time, he posed a radical review of the traditional notion of creator and sources of artistic inspiration.
The collection of affiches lacérees is on display in Room 2 of the Foundation’s facilities and it shows 23 works by Villeglé from the 1960s and 70s. Among the works on display, there are also two dedicated to Barcelona, both from the year 2000.
The Foundation’s Room 3 exhibits Jacques Villeglé’s other major theme: the potential energy that signs and letters contain when they are freed of their original form and meaning. On display in this room is a sample of hypergraphics and sociopolitical alphabets made by the French artist over the last thirty years. This room also houses three sculptures (including his first work, from 1947), some of the most outstanding and most famous, like YES, and twelve documents on the ultra-lettrist exercises from 1950-53. The exhibition is completed with a series of masterful photographs on loan from French photographer François Poivret that show us Jacques Villeglé in action.
Fundació Stämpfli – Art Contemporani
Plaça de l’Ajuntament , 13
November 9th 2013 to April 13th 2014
Fridays: 15.30h to 19h.
Saturdays: 10h to 14h and 15.30h to 19h.
Sundays and holidays: 11h to 15h.
93 894 03 64
Ferran Martínez Sancho