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Restany, Pierre 1930-2003

RESTANY, Pierre 1930-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born June 24, 1930, in Amélie-les-Bains, Morocco; died of heart failure May 29, 2003, in Paris, France. Art critic, curator, and author. Restany was an influential art critic who is most remembered as the champion of the French Nouveau Réalisme (New Realism) movement. Educated at the Sorbonne, the Institut d'Études Politiques, the University of Pisa, and Trinity College, he began his career writing for art magazines and was the Paris correspondent for the Italian magazine Vita from 1957 to 1962 and for the Prague publications Vytvame Prace and Vytvame Umeni from 1964 to 1968. Also during this time, from 1958 to 1968, he was the art critic for Combat in Paris and coedited Plexus for five years during the 1960s. While in Milan, he regularly wrote for Domus magazine. The 1960s saw Restany's rise to prominence as a founder of the New Realism movement whose artists sought to express their vision of reality in new ways that lay somewhere between Dadaism and pop art; Restany felt that art should "create a language based on the industrial world of today." Inspired in 1955 when he first met artist Yves Klein, Restany was the first to define and articulate the principles of New Realism, which encompassed the works of such artists as Jean Tinguely, Jacques de Villegié, Daniel Spoerri, Christo, and Raymond Hains. He opened his own gallery in Paris, Galerie J, to exhibit their works and participated in international exhibitions. His writings also helped define the movement and include over sixty publications, among them J. F. Koenig (1960), Les nouveaux réalistes (1968), Yves Klein: le monochrome (1974), Les objets-plus (1989), Nouveaux realists anni '60: la memora viva di Milano (1997), Avec le nouveau réalisme, sur l'autre face de l'art (2000), and his autobiography, Une vie dans l'art (1983).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Independent (London, England), June 4, 2003, p. 16.

New York Times, June 5, 2003, p. C19.

Times (London, England), June 16, 2003.

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