Gérard Deschamps

Biographical Data

Born in Lyon in 1937. He lives and works in La Châtre, in the department of l’Indre, France. Gérard Deschamps never receives any type of art lessons, starting to paint after meeting Raymond Hains. His first individual exhibition takes place in 1956. He exhibits with the Nouveaux Réalistes since 1961 but retires in 1970 to work by himself, saying: “The Nouveaux Réalistes are contemplative. We watch what surround us and that’s all. We’re rather like philosophers or conservatives”.

Brief Chronology

In the beginning, Gérard Deschamps paints in abstract styles. He creates his first collages with pictures from the Manufrance catalog and pleated painted clothes in 1956; he declares: “I haven’t left painting behind, I’ve just confirmed that it wasn’t all about tubes”. In 1957 he begins making his assemblage paintings with woman’s underwear (Le Rose de la vie) and with clothes and napkins (Torchons et serviettes, 1961). In 1962 he creates compositions with used and bullet pierced armor plates and U.S.A. army tarpaulins with aeronautic signs on them that he knots and ties together. Later assemblages are made with airplane pieces, engine metal sheets made iridescent by heat, oilcloths, or Japanese fabrics (Lichtenstein = un Deschamps, 1965). In 1965 he creates Bananes, with colored aluminum grilles mounted on a wooden panel that look like Barrettes militaires (army ribbons). In the 80’s he works on Panoplies using colorful clothes, and trendy sports accessories, especially surf-related, which he puts in plexiglass boxes (World cup – série Allez les bleus, 1998). In recent years, he has been using balloons, beach pools and rubber rings which he piles up in nets or showcases (Pneumostructures series), joining skateboard decks (Debord-Druon, 2002) or using windsurf sails as metaphors of leisure society.




One night, 1987, Tèxtil sobre tela, 59,6 x 49,6 x 10,2 cm / 23,4 x 19,5 x 4,0 in.