Narrative Figuration

Narrative Figuration (French: "figuration narrative") is regarded as the pendant to Pop Art in continental Europe with its roots in France. Narrative Figuration was not to a closed group of artists but an open movement, that arose in the context of the Paris exhibition "Mythologies quotidiennes" (English: "Everyday Mythologies") in 1964.
The year of origin of Narrative Figuration was also the great year for Pop Art, as it celebrated successes at the 1964 Biennale in Venice and claimed to be the leading figurative tendency. Inspired by this new style, which had become well-known throughout Europe, the artists Bernard Rancillac (born in 1931) and Hervé Télémaque (born in 1937) organized the exhibition "Mythologies quotidiennes" together with the art critic Gérald Gassiot-Talabot. Some 34 artists participated, their figurative art turned against the predominant abstraction, inspired by Pop Art, the artists referenced the contemporary society and its objects.
Narrative Figuration did not only want to take on modern Pop esthetics in its art, the artists also wanted to propagate changes in society. Accordingly, elements from English and American Pop Art were mixed with tendencies of Critical Realism. Images from advertising, comics, film and photography were used as motifs, but also images from earlier times of art history were taken on and integrated into new and surprising contexts, they often turned out as politicized narrations.
Among the artists who participated in the first exhibition were Eduardo Arroyo, René Bertholo, Gianni Bertini, Öyvind Fahlström, Peter Klasen, Jacques Monory, Antonio Recalcati, Jan Voss and others. A broad and international movement of Narrative Figuration soon arose from the "Everyday Mythologies", with members such as Valerio Adami, Gilles Aillaud, Henri Cueco, Erró, Gérard Fromanger and Peter Stämpfli.
The Narrative Figuration was in existence up into the 1970s.