New Realism

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New Realism


a trend in contemporary bourgeois philosophy. New realism was influenced by the Scottish school as well as by F. Brentano, A. Meinong, E. Mach (Austria), and the early B. Russell.

The epistemological tenets of new realism were set forth by G. E. Moore in his article “The Refutation of Idealism” (1903) and were subsequently formulated into a specific doctrine in the United States by R. Perry, E. B. Holt, W. Montague, W. Marvin, E. Spaulding, and W. Pitkin, who in 1910 issued “The Program and First Platform of Six Realists.”

The cosmology of new realism was developed by S. Alexander, A. Whitehead, J. Smuts, and L. Morgan. It represented a variant of the metaphysical concept of development—the theory of emergent evolution. In the 1930’s, new realism declined in influence and was replaced by critical realism.

New realism criticized subjective idealism for reducing reality to the consciousness of the subject and rejected absolute idealism (F. Bradley), which identified reality with universal consciousness. New realism asserted the existence of object independent of subject. At the same time, it rejected materialism as a “dualistic” theory that supposedly regarded subject and object as absolute opposites. New realism developed the doctrine of epistemological monism.

New realism holds that the nature of being is neither material nor ideal. It is an aggregate of neutral elements that, depending on the situation, acquire either physical or mental significance. In cognition, the neutral object directly enters the consciousness of the subject, thereby becoming “mental.” However, when the object is not included in an epistemological situation, it appears as “physical.” However, the thesis of the direct inclusion of an object by consciousness does not make it possible to resolve the problem of the origin of false consciousness and contradicts the basic premise of new realism—the existence of reality independent of consciousness. Thus, new realism is essentially a variety of idealism.


Bogomolov, A. S. Filosofiia anglo-amerikanskogo neorealizma. Moscow, 1962.
Lukanov, D. M. Gnoseologiia amerikanskogo “realizma.” Moscow, 1968.
Sovremennaia burzhuaznaia filosofiia. Moscow, 1972. Chapter 8.
The New Realism. New York, 1925.
Kremer, R. Le Néo-réalisme américain. Paris, 1920.
Evans, D. L. New Realism and Old Reality. Princeton, 1928.
Ray, B. Consciousness in Neo-realism. Oxford, 1935.
Boman, L. Criticism and Construction in the Philosophy of American New Realism. Stockholm, 1955. D. M. LUKANOV
References in periodicals archive ?
Perhaps we Americans too eagerly snap our chauvinist braces at the drop of Pop, for the sensibility emphatically registered elsewhere, of course, not only in the UK--think Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton--but also along the permeable borders of the Ecole de Nice, stretching from Nouveau Realisme to its most distant Fluxus peninsulas.
Carrick (art history, Carleton University, Canada) takes a revisionary look at the short-lived movement of Nouveau Realisme in 1960's France.
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The American is considered a forebear of the Nouveau Realisme movement, for which he receives in Fineberg's Art Since 1940 a few lines of credit.
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But it was with the artists of the Nouveau Realisme movement that Sachs forged his first artistic friendships, which in turn launched his career as a passionate collector.
Allies such as Klein and Manzoni had both died by 1963, and within a few years critic-supported movements in France and Italy (Pierre Restany's Nouveau Realisme and Germano Celant's Arte Povera) had gained control of the European discourse, if not its markets.
It was in the South of France that Mr Olgiati became acquainted with the art and artists of Nouveau Realisme, a movement founded in 1960 by Klein and the art critic Pierre Restany.
These works are closer to the action painting from which Muehl's performance work departed, and recall the products of Nouveau Realisme and arte povera.
Initiated in 1957 with a series of exhibitions around the studios of Heinz Mack and Otto Piene in Dusseldorf, it grew to embrace pioneering movements across Europe, including Nouveau realisme and Arte Povera, and the likes of Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana and Hero Manzoni.
Two years later, the artist made his first "Allure d'objets," 1958-60, paintings in which found items, like pearls, were used instead of brushes, and paved the way for the object appropriation that would come to define Nouveau Realisme.
That was Andy Warhol's laudatory reply when asked his opinion of the inventor of Nouveau Realisme, who died in Paris in May.