Marguerite Humeau


pigment and charcoal on paper; frame: sugars, mineral dust, plant-based and synthetic resin, and wood
34 x 49 3/4 inches

I have been looking at the soil, and the “surface horizon,” the layer of the soil where the living becomes dead, dormant, and alive again, or transforms into mineral matter. For me the “surface horizon” is this sort of mythical place where the most important transformations happen. I see the surface horizon as our inner lives and how, with COVID, we had to retreat into our surface horizons to revive and create new forms, psychologically or mentally. – Marguerite Humeau

In her work, French artist Marguerite Humeau evokes nature, the prehistoric, and imagined futures through biomorphic shapes and botanical forms. Humeau conducts in-depth conversations with scientist, philosophers, and theoreticians in order to comb their knowledge for connections to our world. She then supplements her research with indigenous histories and holistic approaches that are often thought of as outside the realm of the rational. For this series of drawings, Humeau calls on her research on plant structures and soil studies (with assistance from artificial intelligence) to imitate the veins and capillaries that transfer energy through soil, while also evoking the bodies of plants, fungi, and animals. Her drawings suggest thin slices of organisms or x-rays of bodies that glow due to her choice of pigment. Humeau reinserts the natural in her choice of plant resin and natural sugars as structures for drawings’ frames. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at New Museum, New York; Tate Britain, London; Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Kunstverein in Hamburg. Her work is part of the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Britain, London; and Aishti Foundation, Beirut, among others; and she was included in the 59th Venice Biennale this year.