Samuel Yal

Samuel Yal has exhibited in France, Spain, Italy and Belgium. Resident at Casa Velasquez in Madrid from 2015 to 2016, he was awarded the Prix de sculpture by the Institut de France in 2016 and the Grand Prix de l’Institut Bernard Magrez in 2017. He has exhibited at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Musée Dobrée, Fontevraud Abbey and the Boghossian Foundation. His monumental work Prologue opened the exhibition Aux Frontières de l’Humain at the Musée de l’Homme (Paris) in 2021.

Yal’s work is often fragmentary. Bodies and faces are mishandled, caught in the throes of profound change. Some pieces simply feature a mass of coral and lichen, here an ear, there the tip of a breast: Samuel Yal says that this is what you would find inside one of his sculptures if you broke it. Remnants of a past life or the first elements, the matrices, of another, in the process of being recomposed? Sometimes – as if we were looking at a freeze-frame of an explosion – a tide of these little pieces of life, both human and vegetable, emerges from a face. Over there, charred heads escape and dissolve into the sky. Further on, a broken head is glued back together with gold leaf, like broken Japanese ceramics whose restoration does not seek to hide the crack but, on the contrary, to magnify it.