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Iris Clert:
Letter to Boris Lurie
(1970)

Dear Boris:

What can I say, you know perfectly well what I love in Art. Art for me is an escape from reality and not an awful realism which shows the horrors of our mad civilisation.

We are surrounded with ugliness, dirt, pollution, horrid posters, vulgarity: why take all these horrors put them together and make a protest? The real protest is to show beauty and purity!

In the early 60's, in fact it started in 1957, I have shown Yves Klein, that was a protest against the Art that was fashionable in those times, lyric and abstract expressionism.

Dada has always been a protest with humour. NOIart seems to be a protest with hate.

I am for love and humour.

Non Art is a deep protest against all the established values, in fact it shows the end of our civilisation.

But as soon as Non Art is sold, it becomes a commercial value, and therefore I don't agree with it.

I would really be convinced, if the Non-Artists would go as far as burning themselves with their work in the face of the public.

Source: Lurie, Boris; Krim, Seymour: NO!art, Cologne 1988

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Gallery founded by IRIS CLERT in 1956, located 3 rue des Beaux-Arts then, until 1971, when it closed, 28 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. Iris Clert established privileged relationships with critics such as Claude Rivière, Julien Alvard, Pierre Restany, Michel Tapié, Charles Estienne and Michel Ragon, who defended the various forms of abstraction. It exhibits Takis, Yves Klein, Brô, Jean Tinguely, Gaston Chaissac... From the mid-1960s, the gallery declined and despite moving to the right bank of Paris, it was forced to close in 1971.

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