Maison Louis Carré (Paris) & Kunsthalle (Helsinki)
b. 1942 in Syria,
based in Paris, France
Simone Fattal was raised in Lebanon, where she studied philosophy at the École des Lettres in Beirut. She then moved to Paris, where she continued her philosophical pursuits at the Sorbonne. In 1969 she returned to Beirut and began working as a visual artist, exhibiting her paintings locally until the start of the Lebanese Civil War. She fled Lebanon in 1980 and settled in California, where she founded the Post-Apollo Press, a publishing house dedicated to innovative and experimental literary work. In 1988 she enrolled in a course at the Art Institute of San Francisco, which prompted a return to her artistic practice and a newfound dedication to sculpture and found her connection with clay, a material deeply connected to the earth, which for Fattal is in the heart of creation in every mythology. The use of earth brought a human element to her work that is often born from her interest in ancient tales and her fascination with archeological finds which create direct associations to elements of time, memory and loss. But it is through her sculpting of the material by bare hands that she breeds life into these inanimate objects. The artwork encompasses a volatile presence that is simultaneously both fragile and brutal. They exist in a constant state of becoming or disappearing.
Fattal’s recent exhibitions include the Works and Days, MoMA PS1 (2019); Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech (2018); the Rochechouart Departmental Museum of Contemporary Art (2017), and the Sharjah Art Foundation (2016).