The Salon des Réalités Nouvelles is an association of artists and an art exhibition in Paris, focusing on abstract art. The exhibition takes place annually in October and ranks among the top Parisian art salons.
The expression “réalités nouvelles” --“new realities” -- was penned in 1912 by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire to designate abstraction as the form best suited to expressing modern reality.
The first exhibition with the name was held in 1939 in Galerie Charpentier, organised by Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Nelly van Doesburg and Fredo Sidès. In 1946 the Salon was officially established as a successor to Abstraction-Création by Fredo Sidès, and its first board included Jean Arp, Sonia Delaunay and Albert Gleizes as members. Sidès was chairman until his death in 1953.
With enthusiastic critical support in its early days, the Salon quickly proved successful, presenting geometric and concrete works by artists such as Jean Dewasne and Victor Vasarely as well as non-figurative works by Pierre Soulages, Georges Mathieu, Vieira de Silva, and Robert Motherwell.
Since 1956, the Salon has embraced all abstract trends, including allusive figuration and conceptual forms, as well as a variety of media ranging from painting and sculpture to photography, installation, and the digital.
Over the years the exhibition has been held at a number of different locations. Since 2004 it has been located at the Parc Floral de Paris, showing painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, installation, engraving, and digital media by over 350 artists each year. Exhibitors are chosen by a jury, based on a portfolio presentation.
Current abstract trends represented include allusive figuration as well as conceptual, concrete, geometric, gestural, haptic, lyrical, and nominalist abstraction. Painters, sculptors, and installation artists show one work each; artists showing smaller format work on paper – such as prints and drawings – are allowed two or three works apiece.
Since 2008, under the leadership of its president Olivier di Pizio, the Salon has expanded its exhibition scope to include a series of “Hors les Murs” (“Beyond the Walls”) shows in France and internationally (Beldrade in 2013 and Beijing in 2014).
The association’s governing committee, presided by Olivier di Pizio, is composed of the following artist-members.