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Sarah Margnetti

°1983, Monthey (CH) – lives and works in Brussels (BE)

The work of Sarah Margnetti focuses on both the fragmentation of the human body as on the optical illusion of matriality. It is this trompe l'oeil technique of painted matriality that brought Margnetti to Brussels – to the Van der Kelen-Logelain Institute, where she received the technical training that characterises her virtuoso painting style. This Brussels-based school was founded in the 19th century and is the only one in the world that focuses on traditional techniques of decorative painting - where students learn to imitate the matriality of a large number of different types of wood and marble in a painterly way.

The seemingly massive matriality of Sarah Margetti's paintings contrasts sharply with the temporarity that characterizes much of her work. Many of her paintings originate in situ - in a specific exhibition context in which the murals exist only for a limited time before they are painted over, and thus disappear.

Sarah Margnetti's trompe l'oeil painting technique uses imitation marble and wood, as a background for - and as an covering of - fragmented body parts. The painted facial features such as noses and ears, but also body parts such as breasts and buttocks, show an objectification and commodification of the human - above all female - body, and the alienating anonymity that is part of this process.

Sarah Margnetti has recently been awarded the prestigious Swiss Art Prize. Her work has been shown internationally, including at venues such as SATLTS, Basel; Deborah Bowmann, Brussels;  Le Commun, Geneva; Zabriskie Point, Geneva; and Swiss Institute, Rome.

You can see more of her work on Sarah Margnetti’s own website