In the 1960 Nouveau Réaliste manifesto Pierre Restany described the art of the movement as 'a poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality' (Trente ans de Nouveau Rálisme, la diffèrence, 1990). Less interested in industrial reality, Jacques de la Villeglé was fascinated by urban advertising. Having abandoned his studies in architecture, he moved to Paris from Nantes in 1949 and began collecting 'found objects' in Saint-Malo. It was not long before he had begun to focus entirely on pictorial tableaux - ripping the torn and forgotten posters from Paris's public walls and mounting them, unaltered, onto canvas. In the same year of his arrival, de la Villeglé, together with Raymond Hains, produced the first 'affiche lacaeree'. They were later joined in this method by Francois Dufrêne and Mimmo Rotella, and the four came to be known as 'les affichistes', literally meaning 'poster artists'.
This work is in part a relic of the Rue de Poteau. Assuming the role of archaeologist, de La Villeglé seems to unearth the urban ruins in which society is implicated. The pattern of tears gives the work a dramatic structure while the colour and text both appear and, on closer inspection, submerge. Suggestive of information overload, the viewer struggles to make sense of the art and also perhaps of the society in which they play a role. In working in this way de la Villeglé played a major role in closing the gap between the artist and the audience.
In 1958 de la Villeglé published an overview of his work with lacerated posters: Des réalites collectives. This was a text that both pre-empted and to some degree anticipated the later manifesto of Nouveau Réalisme. Deriving from the period between these two publications Affiche Lacéree - Rue de Poteau is an important work that also anticipates the later formalising of this tendency into a 'New Realism'.