The name Supports-Surfaces came about during the collective exhibition held in
September 1970 at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. Of all the participating artists
Claude Viallat undoubtedly has been and remains the most influential figure.
This group of artists from the south of France, brought together by ties of friendship, existed only for a short time between 1969 – 1972 and was considered to be the last avant-garde movement of the 20th century. It is a movement with its own entity, like minimal art or conceptual art, which has given rise to the abundant production of theoretical texts, and has contributed to the transformation of thought and creation up until the end of the 20th century in the field of art as well as in philosophy and literature. In the late 1960's, Supports-Surfaces not only challenged painting, but also the components of the painting, such as the frame and the canvas. Claude Viallat uses canvases without a frame and replaces traditional canvases with ordinary fabrics, such as sheets, blinds, umbrella cloth or tents. He sometimes paints the surface on both sides using a technique of staining and folding. Fifty years on Viallat continues to work in his unique style, creating the same kinds of rhythmic compositions that even amateurs can recognise. But what is the legacy of Supports-Surfaces in the work of the group’s other members? According to Bernard Ceysson, the sheen of the brightest and most intense moments of post-war intellectual life still remains; the memory of the belief that everything could change after the Second World War. Today through these works we can experience the feeling of beauty, although according to André Breton it is a convulsive, disturbing, aggressive yet decorative beauty, shown to us in the simplest of forms.