The Wave of the Sixties: The Impact of Nouveau Réalisme on French Visual Culture

Michael McFarland
Home Organization

Department of Economics, Stanford University

Visiting Organization

Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University

Michael McFarland

I am going to be conducting extensive research across visual culture to identify the principal currents in the visual arts during the 1960s in Paris including French new wave cinema and nouveau réalisme. I will be analyzing the effect the riots of May ’68 and French interest in Indo-China had on visual culture. Questions I will be answering include: how did this compare and contrast with that was happening in New York with the abstract expressionist movement? What was the impact on galleries and the overall market in Paris? I will be watching French films, reading French newspapers, and analyzing gallery expositions. Key figures will include Yves Klein, Arman, Niki de Saint Phalle among others. The project will culminate in a 10-15- page research paper and I will have weekly meetings with Professor Troy to assist in project development and ensure adequate progress. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, this project will allow me to conduct original research in French, watch French films, and language and cultural exchange will be embedded to make for a successful learning opportunity. 

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