The art historian J. J. Winckelman wrote about Greek antique sculptures : «As the sea abyss always remain calm, whatever the agitation on the surface, so are the faces? expressions of the Greek which always show a big and composed soul, whatever the passions they may be driven by». On her side, Virgile Ittah, who is a young artist graduated from the Royal College of Art of London, explores emotions which are translated into facial appearance, through her sculptures made of wax and powders of marble and which are reminiscent of classic sculpture. With And this new sleep Ambrotypes, Virgile Ittah insists by photographing the different facial appareances given to a sculpted portrait in order to humanize the sculpture without giving it an identity though.
Virgile Ittah is trying to create a new territory where identity would not be the referent anymore. Besides, according to Nietzsche and Freud, man?s body is made of as many consciousnesses as plural strengths (Freud would talk of drives). Thus, when Virgile Ittah mixes representation and abstraction, she aims at freeing herself from what defines, identifies and limits : «I is an other one».
When For a man would remember each murmur, is about an uprooted man trying to remember his language of origin, couldn?t we think that the use of an almost abstract form embodies its intrinsicality? With Untitled, the abstract form is total and nude and carries an intrinsic meaning. Then, as the material gets the upper hand on the signified, it becomes universal.
Born in 1981 in Paris.
Works & lives in London.
Exhibitions - selection
La Galerie Particulière, Brussels, Belgium
Walking on the beach imitating sand, Hus Gallery, London: Virgile Ittah + Kai Yoda
A woman?s hand, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK.
Art 15, Lychee one gallery, Virgile Ittah + Kai Yoda, London, UK
Dallas art fair, Hus galleries, Texas, US
Here?s looking at you, Lychee One Gallery, London: Virgile Ittah + Kai Yoda
This has nothing to do with politics, The function room, London, UK, Curated by Jack Tan.
Royal British Society of Sculptor, London, UK, Bursary award 2014 exhibition.
Catlin Prize Exhibition, London, UK
New Order II, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
New Sensations, Channel 4/ Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
The Open West, Cheltenham gallery + museum, UK,in collaboration with Kai Yoda
RCA Show, Royal college of art, London, UK
Camera Clara Prize, Gallery UPP, Paris, France
Inspiring Matter, Gulbenkian Gallery, London, UK
Fair, Edinburgh college of art, Edinburgh, UK
2011 - 2013 MA, Sculpture, Royal College of Art, London
Awards / Residencies
Awarded of a bursary from the Royal British society of Sculptors, UK.
Selected for Catlin guide and Catlin Prize Exhibition, London, UK.
Selected for New Sensations, Channel 4 and Saatchi Gallery, London, UK.
Camera Clara prize, 2nd prize, France