Raymond Hains was born in Saint-Brieuc, France, in 1926. He began studying sculpture in Rennes in 1945. In October of that year he moved to Paris, where he worked in the atelier of the photographer Emmanuel Sougez. He produced his first abstract photographs with the help of ribbed glass in 1948. He called them photographies hypnagogiques (hypnagogic photographs). Together with the artist Jacques de la Villeglé he produced films using the same technique. In the 1950s they developed the method of transposing fragments of posters torn from walls around the city into an art context, and in this period Hains developed his concept of fractured letters (French: lettres éclatées). In 1960, together with the art theorist Pierre Restany, the artists Yves Klein, Arman and Daniel Spoerri and others, he founded Nouveau Réalisme, but withdrew from the movement as early as 1963. Hains participated in the 32nd Venice Biennale in 1964, and in 1968 and 1997 in documenta 4 and 10 in Kassel. He was awarded the Grand prix national de la peinture in 1988, and the Kurt Schwitters Prize from the city of Hanover in 1996. In 1997 he also began making digital collages. Hains died in Paris in 2005.