Virgile Ittah’s early work, represented here, is a study in the frailty and transience of human flesh. Life-size abject bodies formed of wax people the gallery space, spectral apparitions that seem un-tethered by gravity. These are trapped in some interstitial zone of being, a limbo between life and death, perhaps even at the moment of the last gasp before the soul flees its mortal shell.
This painstaking attention to the detail of human musculature and fleshy frailty recalls the work of Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruckyere, also in the Saatchi Collection. Her process is however more redolent of another artist she references; like Rodin she works to built up the body, rather than carving into it, creating a strangely shifting form, again speaking to the potential release of the life, and the return to inert matter.
In this she states “When I make a sculpture I’m not trying to make a sculpture, I’m trying to make a living human being’, an effect achieved with uncanny results. Each figure variously represents different autobiographical narratives, and areas of research such as the history of female hysteria. The work Untitled (For man would remember each murmur), is based on her own father’s immigrant status as a Jew of Moroccan origin, in the artists own works “It was a curation of my father’s nostalgia for a country that doesn’t exist anymore...There are no more Jews there, no family – nothing.”
Born 1981, Paris, France
Lives and works in London, UK
2013, MA Sculpture, Royal College of Art, London
I think mango you say salmon, Annka Kultys Gallery, London: Collective Ittah Yoda. cur: Domenico de Chirico
And this new sleep, La Galerie Particulière, Brussels, Belgium
Walking on the beach imitating sand, Hus Gallery, London: Collective Ittah Yoda
Here’s looking at you, Lychee One Gallery, London: Collective Ittah Yoda
Aujourd'hui je dis oui, Lisbon, Collective Ittah Yoda. cur: Aujourd'hui + Domenico de Chirico
What is a bird? We simply don’t know, Nicodim Gallery, Bucharest, Collective Ittah Yoda cur: Domenico De Chirico
This has nothing to do with politics, The function room, London cur: Jack Tan.
Royal British Society of Sculptor, London
Catlin Prize Exhibition, London
New Order II, Saatchi Gallery, London
New Sensations, Channel 4/ Saatchi Gallery, London
The Open West, Cheltenham gallery + museum, UK, Collective Ittah Yoda
RCA Show, Royal college of art, London
Camera Clara Prize, Gallery UPP, Paris
Inspiring Matter, Gulbenkian Gallery, London
Fair, Edinburgh college of art, Edimbourg, UK