Gil J. Wolman

French, 1929-1995

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Gil J. Wolman

French, 1929-1995

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Biography

A central figure in Isidore Isou’s Lettrism—an avant-garde group that believed it was necessary to deconstruct existing languages in order to produce art, and which was a precursor to Guy Debord’s Letterist International and later, the Situationists—Gil J. Wolman produced painting, poetry, and films. The Letterists sought to return to signs and letters devoid of meaning, and to examine the intersection between visual and textual languages. In works such as Untitled (La Tragédie) (1966), Wolman incorporated text printed onto Scotch tape into images in which words were frequently repeated. He is best known for his film L’anticoncept, seen for the first time in 1952, which consists of blank illumination projected onto a weather balloon and accompanied by a staccato spoken soundtrack, which was banned by French censors shortly after its release.

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A central figure in Isidore Isou’s Lettrism—an avant-garde group that believed it was necessary to deconstruct existing languages in order to produce art, and which was a precursor to Guy Debord’s Letterist International and later, the Situationists—Gil J. Wolman produced painting, poetry, and films. The Letterists sought to return to signs and letters devoid of meaning, and to examine the intersection between visual and textual languages. In works such as Untitled (La Tragédie) (1966), Wolman incorporated text printed onto Scotch tape into images in which words were frequently repeated. He is best known for his film L’anticoncept, seen for the first time in 1952, which consists of blank illumination projected onto a weather balloon and accompanied by a staccato spoken soundtrack, which was banned by French censors shortly after its release.

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