Bel Été Concentré
Date 1967
Medium Silkscreen on vinyl, collage and neon in Plexiglas box
Dimensions 200 x 60 x 15 cm
Inventory ID UID 102-474
The son of artisan ceramicists, Martial Raysse was associated from a very young age with the movement of the Nouveaux Réalistes, who made their mark upon the Parisian scene in the early 1960s, encouraged by the critic Pierre Restany and artists such as Daniel Spoerri and Raymond Hains. Martial Raysse, beginning in 1962, created environments combining life-size photographs of bathers and synthetic foliage, sometimes illuminating the whole with neon lights. With this, he intended to present a derisory reconstruction of the artificial paradises of contemporary societies. The series of painting-objects presents the mannequin, feminine ideal of the early 1960s, the modern Venus, decadent and depicted in corrosive colours. The feminine faces are red, sour green and yellow. Here, the ‘country’ landscape is suggested ironically by the plastic fern leaf in what is obviously a seaside setting. A straw hat gives some relief to the composition. Raysse pursued this theme through a depiction of stereotypical femininity, coloured and touched up, completed by familiar objects. In his last series, ironically entitled ‘made in Japan’, he ‘retouched’ the great classics of French art, such as Ingres’s Odalisque. After the events of May 1968 in France, Martial Raysse broke away from the commercial art circuit, settling in the south of France. He began again in the early 1970s with a new ‘painting’ of contemporary myths, displayed in 1992 in a large exhibition at the Galerie National du Jeu de Paume in Paris. J-FC