Jacques Villeglé

  • Born 1926 in Quimper, France

Jacques Villeglé is known for making art from scraps of torn posters. He began his painting studies in 1944 at the École des beaux-arts (School of Fine Arts), Rennes, where he met his fellow student, Raymond Hains (1926–2005). From 1947 to 1949, Villeglé studied architecture at the École supérieure des beaux-arts de Nantes Métropole (School of Fine Arts in Nantes Métropole). Dissatisfied with both fields of study, he began to collect objects he found on the Atlantic beaches and then to reassemble them as sculptures, such as Fils d’acier–Chaussée des Corsaires, Saint-Malo (Son of Steel, Corsairs Highway, Saint Malo; 1947). Villeglé moved to Paris in 1949 and reunited with Hains, who introduced him to décollage. From their first collaborative work, Ach Alma Manetro (1949; named for visible word fragments), and continuing until 1954, the two artists ripped torn posters from public billboards and glued them onto their canvases. Villeglé continued to explore the artistic, documentary, and socio-critical potential of this technique, which he called affiches lacérées (torn posters), for more than five decades. While his early works focused on word fragments, he later became more interested in colors and shapes. Villeglé wrote Collective Realities in 1958, precursor to the “Nouveau Réalisme” (New Realism) manifesto of 1960. Villeglé’s works have been featured in more than 100 exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe.

Artworks by Jacques Villeglé in the exhibition