February 14 • April 04, 2015
Lionel Sabatté creates narrative spaces populated by fantastic creatures made from materials taken from their original contexts. With a protean approach (painting, sculpture and drawing), he produces a reflection on time that he materializes through a practice of hybridization: of materials, forms and references. […]
Thus, the artist patiently collects our waste. In the corridors of the Parisian subway, he recovers the dust of the passers-by. From the grayish sheep, he sculpts a pack of wolves on the hunt. Each of them is physically marked, from the wolf howling at the moon, camped on its four legs, to the exhausted wolf, the body crushed against the ground, Lionel Sabatté transcends the dust. A material that we find in his paintings with abyssal tones. On the canvas, dusty aggregates are deposited over time. In the depths of underground landscapes, he develops a reflection on the very essence of painting. Made from petroleum, it contains the product of fossil fuels to which the artist wishes to pay homage. He is thus attached to the ancestral origins of the medium. On the paper, the hair intermingles with the pencil line to create a set of figures with strange, phantasmagorical postures. Androgynous figures emerge from the material. We also find them aggregated to puddles of concrete poured on sheets of paper. The raw material then becomes a territory that the artist explores through drawing, engraving and burning. He inlays faces and bodies borrowing from an assumed surrealist heritage. […]
From the formless and the improper, Lionel Sabatté produces works as disconcerting as they are poetic. The materials, rough and primitive, thus serve a reflection on our relationship to time, the body and loss. The artist takes a subtle and sensitive look at history and memory.
Julie Crenn, November 2013