Fondazione ICA Milano in collaboration with Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters presents the exhibition A breeze over the Mediterranean, first solo show in Italy dedicated to Simone Fattal (Damascus, 1942).
One of the most important contemporary artists, Simone Fattal was born in Syria and grew up in Lebanon. She left the country in 1980 with the outbreak of the civil war and she settled first in the United States and later in France, where she currently lives and works. Fattal has developed and established her artistic research and practice particularly over the last decades, including different expressive media such as drawing, painting and, since 1988 (when she attended the Art Institute of San Francisco), ceramics. In her works, the artist draws forms out of natural and living matter such as clay – forms that evoke the union between the carnal and mystical dimensions, reality and imagination. Fattal shapes figures that return the deepest intimacy of our feelings and thoughts connecting them to both historical and cultural dimensions to express the value and, at the same time, the care and fragility of human life.
In early 2020, at the invitation of Fondazione ICA Milano and Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters, Fattal visited the Archaeological Park of Pompeii in order to study in person the site and the archaeological storages – a research that later led to the reflections and the sculptural representations of A breeze over the Mediterranean. Fattal observed the universal history and the multiple individual stories of Pompeii, taking inspiration from the Pompeian artefacts and their cultural, religious, social and historical archetypes. The artist is interested in their interconnected existence between the mineral, vegetal and animal elements, of which they were originally composed, and the cultural functions they covered before becoming fragments in which any distinction between life and death, myth and history, natural and cultural, human and non-human vanishes.
The several works in the exhibition, all realized in ceramic, have been created by Fattal in 2021 in Italy, at the renown Officine Gatti of Faenza.