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Pierre Restany

PIERRE RESTANY? A MYTH.” That was Andy Warhol’s laudatory reply when asked his opinion of the inventor of Nouveau Réalisme, who died in Paris in May. Restany was much more than a curator or a critic as we understand the terms today: He was at once a champion of artists and an entrepreneur of concepts, which he defended with all the power of his conviction. He is mostly remembered for founding the movement, with Yves Klein, Christo, and Jean Tinguely, in the late ’50s. Less known is his more recent and discreet engagement with a new generation of largely European artists—from Pierre Huyghe to Rirkrit Tiravanija, Philippe Parreno to Olafur Eliasson—in whom he recognized the legacy of his theories on “technological humanism,” ecology, and the appropriation of the sociological real. At the end of his life, Restany surprised young, informed curators and critics with his geo-strategic analyses

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