His first exhibition took place in 1955 at the Gallery Fachetti in Paris. At this time he abandoned oil painting, which he said lacks flexibility, and turned to collages, incorporating pictures of items from the Manufrance catalog.
In 1957, he exhibited, at the Galerie du Haut Pave in Paris, his first paintings made of rags and pleating that announced New Realism. In November 1957, he was sent to Algeria for 27 months, where he took part in the famous 1958 counter-attack and the operation "jumelles". Released in 1960, he met Raymond Hains and Jacques Villeglé and officially joined the New Realist group in 1961, a year after its official founding.
With pleating, he wanted to renovate the excesses of tissue, which he said "were the guardians of the breath of art to the West, even in periods of decline. Indeed, what would be the victory of Samothrace without his thin wetted coat that made it the ancestor of compressed cars, the ultimate creation that was inspired to me by my lack of financial means". He specialized in rags, female underwear, found at a rag called Chatton. These cloths, then industrial Japanese tissues, were invading his workshops at La Châtre and Rue Gambetta in Paris. His compositions containing female underwear – for example "le Rose de la Vie", a blend of predominantly pink panties, corsets, bras, girdles and garters – caused him to be censored several times.
In 1961, he found a new mine: U.S. Army tarps with fluorescent colors. He also worked on rags from Japanese and Belgian advertising as well as sheets of plastic kitchenware patchworks. In the same period, he used armor plates and metal enclosures that served to isolate the aircraft engines, marked by iridescent heat. In 1965, developing his military metaphors, he created the "bananas", made of folded and colored wire, which can be up to 8 meters long and remind strips military decorations. He invented the moiré patterns by overlapping metal grids.
In 1970, as he disagreed with the Parisian art world, Gerard Deschamps moved to La Châtre, home of his grandparents. His creative activity is ongoing, as will again be shown regularly since 1978 in exhibitions and galleries in Paris and abroad. By 1980, Deschamps gave his vision of a leisure society, with his playful outfits, made of assemblies of swimwear, balloons, skateboards and surfboards, which may bring Pop Art to mind. In the 1990s, he created colorful beach ball blends packed in nets, and then, in 2001, skateboards. Finally he presented his recent Pneumostructures, which are assemblies, or not, of buoys, inflatable air mattresses, or other objects related to a child's imagination.
- 1955: Galerie Fachetti, Paris
- 1957: Galerie Colette Allendy, Paris
- 1962: Galerie J, Paris ; Galerie Ursula Girardon, Paris
- 1963: Galleria Appolinaire, Milan
- 1964: Galerie Florence Houston Brown, Paris
- 1965: Galerie Ad Libidum, Anvers
- 1966: Galleria l'Elefante, Venise
- 1979: Galerie Dominique Marches, Chateauroux
- 1988: Galerie Le Gall Peyroulet, Paris
- 1990: Galerie Le Gall Peyroulet, Paris
- 1991: Galerie Le Gall Peyroulet, Paris
- 1993: Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne
- 1998: Fondation Cartier, Paris
- 1998: Galerie de La Châtre, Paris
- 2000: Galerie de La Châtre, Paris
- 2002: Galleria Peccolo Livorno
- 2002: Galerie de La Châtre, Paris
- 2003: Musée de l'Hospice Saint Roch, Issoudun
- 2004: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dole
- 2005: Château d'Ars La Châtre ; Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans
- 2006: Le Safran Amiens
- 2007: Galerie de La Châtre, Paris
- 2008: Musee des ARTS DECORATIFS Paris
- 2009: "Châteauroue", manifestation d'art contemporain à Châteauroux
- 2009: "solo show" fiac paris galerie Martine et Thibaul de La Châtre
- Dictionnaire de l'art moderne et contemporain, nlle. éd., Paris, Éditions Hazan, 2006, 194 pages (French)
- www.gerarddeschamps.org (French)
- Gérard Deschamps, homo accessoirus, interview with Hélène Kelmachter, Actes Sud, 1998 (French)