Agnès Thurnauer


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Franco-swiss artist. Born in 1962 in Paris (France). Lives and works in Ivry-sur-Seine (France).

Through her paintings sculptures and installations Agnès Thumauer deals with the issue of language. In her pictorial praxis writing is often incorporated in the picture and even when it is not the allusive power released by the subject places the spectator within art history as in the endlessly renewed emancipation of its own reading. This plastic quality of language is tested in three dimensions with her sculptures made of casts of letters on differing scales permitting the involvement of the gaze and the body. For Agnès Thumauer the relation to the work always introduces a form of reciprocity. If the work reads the world it is up to each one of us to make our own reading thereof. For the artist this shared language lies at the heart of society and gives art a powerful poetic and political function.

Agnès Thumauer’s work was revealed to the public by a solo show at the Palais de Tokyo in 2003. Since then she has exhibited at the Centre Pompidou the Angers Museum of Fine Arts ditto in Nantes at the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar and at the Château de Montsoreau-Collection Philippe Méaille among many other venues. She has also shown her work in Belgium at the SMAK in Ghent in the United States at the Seattle Art Museum and the Edgewood Gallery at Yale in Brazil at the CCBB in Rio and in many biennials and art centres: the Lyon Biennale the Cambridge Biennial the Kunsthalle Bratislava and the Yermilov center Kharkiev…
In the fall of 2020, Agnès Thumauer will install a major public commission from the French Ministry of Culture in Ivry-sur-Seine, and will also set up a permanent work, the Matrices Chromatiques, at the Musée de l'Orangerie.
Agnès Thumauer works regularly with writers philosophers and poets for publications and artist’s books (Michèle Cohen-Halimi, Tiphaine Samoyault, Rod Mengham, Nicolas Donin…)

Her works are to be found in many private and public collections (Centre Georges-Pompidou, Musée des Beaux-arts de Nantes, Musée des Beaux-arts d’Angers, musée d’Unterlinden, FMAC, FRAC Bretagne, FRAC Auvergne, FRAC Ile de France…).

We talked for the first time with Agnès in 2012 around one of her works presented in the Atelier Rouart. Since then our paths have often crossed and we share many art world friends in common. A few months back we both had a desire to work together almost naturally. As meeting followed meeting with long hours spent in the studio and gallery our desire became something obvious. Agnès’s work fits perfectly into our programme. The œuvre is poetic open and generous and the visual qualities of the paintings and sculptures are incredible. Michel Rein

Selected press


Art Critique

Agnès Thurnauer ou le travestissement du langage

November 2020

The Gaze of a Parisienne

Agnès Thurnauer

November 2020

Le Quotidien de l'Art

Agnès Thurnauer - La chair des mots

November 2020

Le Monde

Agnès Thurnauer

June 2020

Art Press

La fondation Thalie : l'art de la transversalité appliquée

March 2020

Le Quotidien de l'Art

Agnès Thurnauer rejoint la galerie Michel Rein

June 2019

Art Press 2

Agnès Thurnauer

August 2016


Agnès Thurnauer : Préfigurer

April 2016

Art Absolument

Agnès Thurnauer, la peinture comme langage

May 2015

Le Monde

Agnès Thurnauer arpente le langage et l'histoire de la peinture

May 2014

Le Quotidien de l'Art

Pour moi, la peinture est la performance de la pensée

March 2014


La carte postale d'Agnès Thurnauer

March 2014

Art Press

Agnès Thurnauer

December 2011

The New York Times

Celebrating the Female Artist at the Pompidou

August 2009


Bien faite, mal faite, pas faite

June 2007

Art in America

Agnès Thurnauer

February 2006

Art Press

Peindre au moyen des mots

February 2006

Beaux Arts Magazine

Agnès Thurnauer

January 2005


Créteil se donne un genre

January 2004

Art Press

Agnès Thurnauer

April 2003


Agnès Thurnauer

Josefffine n°11

January 2019

256 pages

ISBN 2271-1767
Agnès Thurnauer

A comme Boa

March 2018
Publisher: Thalie Art Foundation
ISBN 978-2-9601678-4-9
Agnès Thurnauer


January 2016
Publisher: Galerie Fernand Léger

19 pages

ISBN 979-10-96036-00-4

Journal et autres écrits

March 2014
Publisher: Beaux-Arts de Paris

352 pages

ISBN 978-2840563983

Now When Then

March 2014
Publisher: Fage & Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

94 pages

ISBN 978-2849753170
Agnès Thurnauer

Women Artists/elles@centrepompidou

January 2012
Publisher: Centre Pompidou

383 pages

Agnès Thurnauer

May I ? Philippe Méaille preésente le travail d'Agnès Thurnauer

January 2010
Publisher: Villa Emerige


January 2009
Publisher: Monografik

192 pages

ISBN 978-2916545561

Thurnauer à Angers

January 2009
Publisher: Museé des beaux-arts d'Angers

78 pages

ISBN 978-2-35293-000-6

Life-size Portrait

January 2008
Publisher: Onestar Press

150 pages

Agnès Thurnauer

Notre histoire

January 2006
Publisher: Palais de Tokyo & Paris Musées
ISBN 2-87900-950-2