Now Representing SIMONE FATTAL
Greene Naftali is pleased to announce the U.S. representation of SIMONE FATTAL, in collaboration with kaufmann repetto. Fattal’s multi-disciplinary practice draws on a vast range of historical, poetic, and mythological sources, treating time itself as an elastic medium in which the past and present are one.
Born in Damascus in 1942, Fattal was raised in Lebanon and educated in Beirut and Paris, where she studied archaeology at the École du Louvre and philosophy at the Sorbonne. She returned to Beirut in 1969 where she began her career as an artist, exhibiting her paintings locally through the start of the Lebanese Civil War. She left the city in 1980 and resettled in Sausalito, California. There she founded the Post-Apollo Press in 1982, dedicated to publishing avant-garde and experimental writing from around the world. By 1988, Fattal had resumed her visual art, adding work in collage and stone to her painting practice and taking up ceramics, coaxing a near-animistic quality from the living medium of clay. As Negar Azimi has remarked, her “figures look as old as the earth and yet they breathe.” Fattal eventually returned to Paris where she still resides, working in watercolor, etching, terra-cotta, and lately in bronze, which has granted her primordial forms a new monumental scale. Commissioned works often respond to the contingencies of a given site: a recent exhibition at the ICA in Milan drew on privileged access to the excavations at Pompeii, and a set of outdoor works in the Qatari desert—called Maqam, or "location" in Arabic—resemble both dunes and pitched tents, likening the natural landscape to acts of human habitation.
Known primarily as a sculptor of archetypal figures in clay and bronze, Fattal makes use of motifs that imply a cultural mix—from ancient Egypt to Greco-Roman lore to Sufi mysticism—that mirrors her own itinerant life, and taps into an eternal quality that unites societies and eras that are otherwise divided. “My characters continue to be the link between our contemporary situation and our history,” Fattal explains. “If they seem to have come from high antiquity, it is because this history is ours, and the link for me is essential. I am trying to position myself in this line that started with Sumer, and that is uninterrupted through today.”
Along with kaufmann repetto, Fattal is represented by Balice Hertling, Paris; Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna; Karma International, Zurich; and Galerie Tanit, Beirut and Munich. A new commission is currently on view at Ocean Space, Venice, and she will be the subject of a solo exhibition at Portikus, Frankfurt, this summer. Fattal’s work will also be featured in a group show at Greene Naftali in June, and a solo exhibition at the gallery is forthcoming as part of a joint presentation with kaufmann repetto in New York.