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                                                                                  © Sylvain Deleu 


"I adopted clay because it is a domestic, non-authoritarian material; the body is inseparable from this material. I question this traditional material and I breathe contemporary energy and concerns into it. I seek to exploit its possibilities and its limits. It is a sensitive material, linked to sensuality, to touch".

Often with irony and audacity, Elsa Sahal questions the principles of sculpture but also the modern themes of art from which she draws multiple references. She questions the ways in which the female body is represented and the clichés conveyed by gender. Her figures play with ambiguity, often mixing feminine attributes with phallic forms.


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Born in 1975 in Bagnolet, France
Lives and works in Paris, France


 Few key dates


2000 Graduated from l'École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, she joined the Galerie Papillon.

2007 Residency at the manufacture nationale de Sèvres, develops the work of enamels with high temperature firing.

2008 The Ricard Foundation devoted a solo exhibition to her and she was awarded the MAIF prize for sculpture.

2009 Visiting professor at Alfred University, New York State College of Ceramic.

2013 Residency at Archie Bray Foundation in the Montana. Her works are shown in the exhibition Body & Soul : New International Ceramics at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. 

2015-2016 Participates in the Ceramix exhibition at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht and at the Maison Rouge in Paris.

2017 First solo show at The Pill, a gallery that represents her in Turkey.

2017-2018 Her work is featured in the exhibition Women House at the Monnaie de Paris and at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington.

2018 6th solo exhibition at the Galerie Papillon - curator Gaël Charbau.

2019 First solo show at Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York who represents her in the United States.

2020 Participates in the exhibition Picasso, baigneuses et baigneurs at the musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.

 

Amongst public collections :  Cnap (2009, 2020), FMAC (2017), Frac Normandie Caen (2021)

Recent press


"When others are leading the return to painting, Sahal embodies the return to sculpture and the revival of ceramics. Her work questions the representation of feminine and sexual forms, with great sensitivity and humor, even a certain militancy."
Fabien Simode, in L'œil, Dec. 2020

"Elsa Sahal's works develop incorrect forms in response to smoothed conventions. Forms that, like the sea floor, live hidden from the surface. She admits to seeking the side step in order to avoid the box in which artists are too easily placed."
Laurence d'Ist, in Artension, May 2019

"Over the past two decades, French ceramicist Elsa Sahal has conceived a universe where ostensible contradictions – abstractions versus figuration, male versus female, adorable versus abject – are reconciled into a variety of unsettling biomorphic forms."
Mara Hoberman, in Artforum


Solo exhibitions


2021

Vénus Jouissante Polymathe, presentation in the fountain of the patio of La Panacée, La Panacée-MO.CO., Montpellier
“X” 
(with Jesse Mockrin), Nathalie Karg Gallery, New-York, U.S.A.

2020

These boots are made for walking, Centre d'art La Chapelle Jeanne d'Arc, Thouars

2019

Elsa Sahal. Harlequins and Bathers, Nathalie Karg Gallery, New-York, U.S.A.
Equinoxes 2, Boutique Camille Fournet, Paris

2018

Elsa Sahal des origines à nos jours, Galerie Papillon, Paris

2017

Soft is the new strong, Galerie the Pill, Istanbul, Turkey

2016

Self-portait as a frog wearing a trikini, Moments artistiques, Paris
Femminus Ceramicus, Le Carré, Scène Nationale d'Art Contemporain, Château-Gontier

2015

Pole Dance, Galerie Papillon, Paris

2014

Festival International d'Art de Toulouse, Hôtel-Dieu, Toulouse

2012

Elsa Sahal, Galerie Papillon, Paris
Fontaine, installation FIAC Hors-les-murs 2012, bassin Vivier nord, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

2011

Galerie de l'Hôtel de Ville, Chinon
Collège des Bernardins, Paris

2009

Elsa Sahal, Galerie Papillon, Paris

2008

Sculptures, Fondation d'entreprise Ricard, Paris

2007

Galerie municipale du Rutebeuf, Clichy-la-Garenne

2005

L’Idieu, Galerie du Collège Marcel Duchamp within the framework of the Biennale d’art contemporain et céramique, Châteauroux
Iles, Galerie Papillon, Paris, France
Crypte de l’Espace Culturel François Mitterrand organisée par l’École des Beaux-Arts à Beauvais

2002

Sculptures, Galerie Papillon-Fiat, Paris
Dessins et sculptures, Musée National de la porcelaine Adrien Dubouché, l’ENAD, Limoges

 

Group exhibitions


2020

Re-Cloune, Le Safran, Amiens
Le Voyage à Nantes 2020, Place Royale, Nantes
Les Extatiques, La Seine Musicale, Boulogne-Billancourt
Picasso, Baigneuses et Baigneurs, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon
Street Trash : l’effet spécial de la sculpture / sculpture as special effect, Friche de La Belle de Mai, Marseille

2019

Beyond the Vessel, Meşher, Istanbul, Turkey
Topor n’est pas mort, Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris
Some Of Us, Kunstwerk Carlshütte, Budelsdorf, Germany
Clayborn, Galerie Lefebvre & Fils, Paris
Cloune – Guillaume Pinard et Elsa Sahal, Galerie Raymond Hans – École des Beaux-Arts, Pays de Saint-Brieuc

2018

Mademoiselle, CRAC Occitanie, Sète
Leurs printemps, Galerie Papillon, Paris
Totalement DésARçonné Saison 5, Château de Maisons-Lafitte, Maisons-Lafitte, France Commissariat d’Amélie Adamo
Sculpter (faire à l’atelier), Frac Bretagne, Rennes
Women house, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, U.S.A.

2017

Women house, La Monnaie de Paris. Commissariat de Camille Morineau et Lucia Pesapane, Paris
Les retrouvailles, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Brest. Commissariat de Guillaume Pinard, Brest
POINT QUARTZ- Flower of Kent; La Villa Arson, Nice
Surreal House, Galerie The Pill, Istanbul, Turkey

2016

Athanor, Petite suite alchimique #1, CRAC, Sète
Core Sample, Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, New York, U.S.A.
Ceramix, La Maison Rouge, Paris
198920072016, Galerie Papillon, Paris

2015

Ceramix, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands
Le Banquet - Révélations, Grand Palais, Paris
The housebreaker (Le cambrioleur), Riga Art Space, Riga, Latvia
Still Life, Galerie Claudine Papillon, Paris
Élévations, Palais idéal du Facteur cheval, Hauterives
OTIUM : De Mineralis, pierres de vision, Institut d'art Contemporain, Villeurbanne Rhône-Alpes
Genre idéal ?, Parcours privé de la FIAC, Maison Guerlain, Paris

2014

Terrae Incognitae, Galerie accroTerre, Paris
La Loutre et la Poutre, Moly – Sabata, Sablons

2013

Bodies Speaking Out: New International Ceramics, Museum of Art and design, New York, U.S.A.
Song Eun Art Space, Seoul, South Korea
One Million Years, Jardin des Plantes, Paris

2012

Perturbations, parcours céramique et verre contemporain, Musée Fabre, Montpellier
Festival a-part, Les Baux-de-Provence

2011

Dreamtime 3, HabitéR, Grotte du Mas-d'Azil / les Abattoirs, Toulouse
Cabinet de curiosités, Maison Champs Élysées, Martin Margiela, Paris
3rd Biennale de sculpture, Yerres

2010

Galerie Claudine Papillon, Paris
Circuits Céramiques, Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris

2009

La conquête de la modernité - Sèvres 1920-2008, Palazzo Cafarelli, Rome, Faenza, Italy
Avoir 20 ans à voir, Galerie Papillon

2008

Des certitudes, sans doute(s), une collection privée d’art contemporain, Musée de Picardie, École supérieure d'art et de design, Amiens
Pink, Cyborg and Imperfect structure, International Women artists Biennale Incheon, South Korea

2007

Maniera, techniques et persuasion, Maison de la Culture de Nevers et de la Nièvre (MCNN), Nevers
Premio Internazionale Giovane Scultura Fondazione Francesco Messina Prima Edizione, Materima Casabeltrame, Italie – Lauréate du Prix de la jeune sculpture
Mutatis, Mutandis, collection Antoine de Galbert, la maison rouge, Paris
Place des Arts, la Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

2006

Fictions Céramiques, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
Human Size, Taille Humaine, Orangerie and jardins du Luxembourg, Paris
Carton rouge, atelier Tampon – Ramier, Paris

2005

Trans-Ceramic-Art, Biennale de Céramique, I-Chon, South Korea
Rouge Gorge, exhibition of drawings of moods, la Maison Folie Wazemmes, Lille
A Tables, Domaine de Chamarande in the Essonne
Ceramic Biennial, Châteauroux
Le corps, l’atelier, le paysage, Nouvelle Biennale de Châteauroux, Châteauroux

2004

Les mêmes et même quelques autres, Galerie Papillon, Paris

2003

Fragile, les 20 ans des FRAC, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims
Lignes singulières, Centre d’art Le Triage, Nanterre

2002

Juste pour voir, Musée National de la porcelaine Adrien Dubouché, Limoges

2001

Dessin en cours…à l’École des Beaux-arts : Exhibition of contemporary drawings in echo to the heritage exhibition : Drawing in France in the 17th century, ENSBA, Paris

2000

Œuvres de tous poils, Galerie Papillon, Paris

1999

Alter Ego, collaborations between Thai and European artists, organized by the European Delegation in Southeast Asia, the AFAA, and the French Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand

 

Awards


2013

Georges Coulon Prize for Sculpture, awarded by the Institut de France upon proposal of the Académie des Beaux-Arts
Nominated for the Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art 2013

2008

MAIF Prize for sculpture

2007

Prize for contemporary sculpture, Fondation Francesco Messina, Casabeltrame, Italy

 

Public and private commissions


2020

Collection nationale d’art contemporain (Cnap), Paris, France

2019

Creation of a work in collaboration with the workshop of the maison Camille Fournet as part of the Equinoxes 2 project, Maison Camille Fournet, 5 rue Cambon, Paris, France

2018

Des jardins perdus, work realized within the framework of the 1% artistic, Collège Germaine Tillon, Livry-Gargan, France

2017

Delta, Ambassade franco-allemande de Dacca, Bangladesh, India

2008

Collection nationale d’art contemporain (Cnap), Paris

 

Residencies et Grants


2018

Alfred University, New York State College of Ceramic, New York, U.S.A.

2013

Archie Bray Foundation, Montana, U.S.A.

2009 - 2010

Alfred University, New York State College of Ceramic, New York, U.S.A.
Mastère création et technologies contemporaines, ENSCI, Paris

2007-2008

Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, France

2005

Collège Marcel Duchamp, École d’Art de Châteauroux, France

2002

Manufacture La Reine à Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, Limousin, France

2001

Seoul National University, South Korea

Usine de céramique Alain Vagh, Salernes

 

Teaching


Depuis 2014

Professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Versailles

2012-2015

Professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg

2010

Conference at Unesco within the framework of the symposium "territories in movement" organized by the International Academy of Ceramics

2008

Conference at the Haute École d’Art et de Design, Geneva

 

Studies


2010

Mastère création et technologies contemporaines, ENSCI, Paris

1994 - 2000

École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris