After 1957 his individual and collective actions mark his participation in the life of New Realists as a founder. Therefore, Villeglé is able to establish an original kind of research which can be regarded, even nowadays, as the most exemplary in the field of the lacerated manifesto. The specific feature of images relating to lacerated manifestoes, which strikes the artist’s attention, is the very same appearing on the city walls, the most vivid of our urban folklore. The artwork Cheque Mardi, juin 1977, is a great example of his research. The year 1958 sees the publication of Villeglé’s first explanation of the anonymous laceration which can be clearly distinguished from collage, whereas the constitutive declaration of Nouveau Réalisme dates back to October 1960 and that’s exactly when the artist starts participating in all of the group’s manifestations. In 1961 he takes part in The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (then in Dallas and San Francisco), and in Cinquante ans de collage at the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in Saint-Etienne, then at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. He also participates in collective exhibitions totally dedicated to lacerated affiches: Gallery Apollinaire and Gallery Arturo Schwarz in Milan and Gallery Gres in Chicago. He also has personal exhibitions at Gallery J in Paris and Gallery Ad Libitum in Antwerp. In 1965 he starts a thematic series of lacerated affiches, From Mathieu to Mahé; after that, he starts working on Lacéré Anonymeand he becomes the official historian of the trend going by the same name. Villeglé’s artistic activity continues with fervor, as he takes part in important exhibitions in the Nineties and in 2000: in Cologne (Gallerie der Spiegel, Double Message), Paris (retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou), Geneva (Galerie Sonia Zannettacci), New York (Ubu Gallery, Rétrospective 1959/1998), Los Angeles (Shoshana Wayne Gallery), Mérignac (Vieille Eglise (Shoshana Wayne Gallery), Mérignac (Vieille Eglise Saint-Vincent, Villeglé techno-rapt). Great success is also obtained by personal exhibition in San Francisco, Chicago, Milan and Munich.
With Mimmo Rotella in Italy, Raymond Hains and François Dufrêne in France, Villeglé is the protagonist of the so called Affichistes, artists founders of the Nouveau Réalisme (New Realism), able to rethink the icons of the modern city and advertising through the ripped posters from the urban walls. Villeglé is like an archaeologist of the contemporary age, with his searching and collecting, in all his life, of images, traces and languages of this modern time.