Agnès Thurnauer (b. 1962) is a French-Swiss artist. She lives in Paris and works in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne).
Through her paintings, sculptures and installations, Agnès Thurnauer deals with the question of language. In her pictorial practice, writing is often integrated into the painting, and even when it is not, the allusive force that emerges from the subject places the viewer in the history of art as well as in the ever-renewed emancipation of his own reading. This plasticity of language is experienced in three dimensions, with her sculptures composed of molds of letters at different scales allowing the investment of the eye and the body. For Agnès Thurnauer, the relationship to the work always induces a form of reciprocity. If the work reads the world, it is up to each of us to make our own reading. This shared language is at the heart of society and gives art a powerful poetic and political function.
Agnès Thurnauer’s work was revealed to the public through a monographic exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in 2003. Since then, she has exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, the Musée Matisse in Nice, the LaM in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Angers and Nantes, the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar, the Château de Montsoreau-collection Philippe Méaille and many others. She has also shown her work in Belgium, at the SMAK in Ghent, in the United States, at the Seattle Art Museum and the Edgewood Gallery at Yale, in Brazil, at the CCBB in Rio, and in many art centers and biennials: Lyon Biennial, Cambridge Biennial, Kunsthalle Bratislava, Yermilov Center Kharkiv, among others.
In the fall of 2020, she installed an important commission from the Ministry of Culture in the public space in Ivry-sur-Seine and set up a perennial work, the Matrices Chromatiques, at the Musée de l’Orangerie. Agnès Thurnauer regularly collaborates with writers, philosophers and poets for publications and artists’ books: Michèle Cohen-Halimi, Tiphaine Samoyault, Rod Mengham, Anne Portugal… A new monograph on his work will be published in 2022 with texts by Dean Daderko, Cécile Debray, Elisabeth Lebovici and Lorenzo Benedetti.
His works are in numerous private and public collections: Centre Pompidou, Cnap Paris La Défense, Musée de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, Musée de l’Armée (Paris), Musée des Beaux-Arts (Nantes and Angers), LaM (Villeneuve-d’Ascq), Musée Unterlinden (Colmar), Fonds d’Art Contemporain – Paris Collections, FRAC Bretagne, FRAC Auvergne, FRAC Île-de-France.