A master of the trompe-l’oeil technique, Sarah Margnetti has developed a pictorial style that combines optical illusions with abstract forms. Used in monumental wall paintings and occasionally on canvases, her motifs depict fragments of bodies, most often female ones, whose function is redirected or reappropriated (an ear becomes a body, a body a brain, and so on), or they are worked out in multiple variations. They loom up from or melt into architectural or interior decorative elements borrowed from the world of the stage (curtains, balustrades, seats, etc.).
Among the sensory organs, the ear is a motif that crops up over and over. It vanishes into the knots in the wood of a trompe-l’oeil décor, or extends the decorative scheme of a fireplace, morphs into an artist’s palette, or replaces the eyes in a face. The artist’s practice seems then to point up listening rather than language or vision, playing off and with, mining and undermining, the traditional motifs littering the history of art, especially that of the female body.
Curator of the exhibition: Nicole Schweizer, curator of contemporary art