On October 27, 1960, art critic Pierre Restany named a group of Paris-based artists the "Nouveaux Realistes" (New Realists) in a founding declaration that stated, "The New Realists recognize their collective singularity. New Realism = new perceptual approaches of the real." Besides Restany, this group included Arman, Francois Dufrene, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, and Jacques Villegle. Their work incorporated consumer objects and new media in response to the postwar period's painterly modes and its burgeoning consumer and industrial society. However, they did not share a common avant-garde strategy.
The Myth of Nouveau Realisme is a critical reassessment of this important neo-avant-garde movement. Kaira M. Cabanas offers an interdisciplinary account of their work and challenges the ideas of Restany, who mandated a "direct appropriation of the real." Cabanas posits that, for the Nouveaux Realistes, realism engaged performative practices to produce alternative social meanings.