François Dufrêne

Biographical Data

Born in 1930 in Paris. François Dufrêne does not study art, instead he is interested in poetry. In 1946 he joins Isidore Isou’s Lettrisme (1946-1953). In 1952 he makes the imaginary movie, with no screen or film: Tambours du Jugement premier. In 1953, seeking a further deconstruction of language, he creates the Ultra-lettrisme and begins giving recitals, Crirythmes (sonorous improvisations that constitute his personal interpretation of concrete music-poetry). In 1960 he becomes a cofounder of the Nouveau Réalisme group. His first individual exhibition takes place in 1963. François Dufrêne dies in Paris in 1982.

Brief Chronology

In 1957 François Dufrêne creates his first “under posters”, he rips posters off street walls and presents them on frames as paintings (Ouestampages, 1957), he says he is “reencountering the almost geological infrastructures” made up by the different layers of paper. Pierre Restany writes about them: “the combination of saltpetre and print produce an “informal” as a surface which is the key element of image”. He exhibits his work in series and gives it titles based on different levels of meaning (Lacéré d’Anone, 1961; Le Mot nu mental, 1964, or Dufrêne et le Dé/Klein, 1977). At the beginning of the 70’s, following the same principle used in his posters, he creates Stencils and Dessous de Stencils; and also a set of stamps on cellulose set on canvas, Bibliothèques. At the same time, he composes sonorous and visual poems, such as Tombeau de Pierre Larousse (1958), conceived as a diversion from the words in the dictionary or Cantante des mots camés (1972-1977), a sonorous structure made of syllabic combinations. This poem is translated to a collection of drawings in 1977.



Sans titre (série Dé-Klein) (n° 7901), 1979, Poster underside glued on canvas, 27 x 22 cm / 10,6 x 8,6 in.