Lionel Sabatte_atelier_2015_NB_web

In residence from
February to April 2016.

Lionel Sabatté discovers during his childhood the French prehistoric caves of the Périgord, with their massive walls and their multitude of prehistoric drawings. His memory focuses on the historical dimension of the object standing in front of him : a million years old wall, remained untouched, like a unalterable trace of human kind. How can some objects contain so much history ? How can they become the archives of a age, resisting the course of time and remaining so contemporary ?
This is from this paradox that Lionel Sabatté is building his work, by using residual materials, usually thrown away, ignored, even repulsive sometimes, but that he chooses to consider like precious archives, emissary of a past time. He patiently collects them to gather a raw material for his future pieces. Dust, for example, collected in the tube, place of perpetual flow, or cents coins burnished by hundred of hands, both becoming the witnesses of exchanges between people. The memory of materials infuses in all Sabatté’s work.
Therefore the artist directly asks us: can substance and complementary of things provide an answer to the question of Time confined in things? This world inhabited by hybrid creatures that Lionel Sabatté builds from a various kind of texture and unexpected materials brings some answers. Charcoal, associated to cement, metal sticks and pigments are used, for example, to build the rocky mountains Unicornes; Stump trees are revived with flowers made of dead skins (Printemps, 2005); damaged butterflies are meticulously repaired with broken nails (Sombre Réparations). All those works trying to abolish the boundaries between vegetal, mineral and organic. Reminding the parietal bestiary art, those creatures are the testimony of the accidental journey of the world materials.
Lionel Sabatté is born in 1975 in Toulouse, France. He lives and works in Paris. Graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2003, he received an award from the Institut Français de Maurice and from Yishu 8 of Pékin, among others. His work has been exhibited in many countries (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Tunisia, Turkey, Slovenia, South Korea, China…)

Exhibition at l’ÉSAD Grenoble : Lionel Sabatté, Tectonique des mutations, from Octobre 15 to Novembre 10, 2016. Download the catalogue.

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