RaphaŽl Zarka


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Born in Montpellier (France) in 1977.
He lives and works in Paris.

Raphaël Zarka is one of a new generation of artists for whom existing cultural forms constitute the raw material for their work. The point of departure for his art, which encompasses photography, video and the written essay, is fundamentally sculptural in the expanded field of a twenty-first century artist. For many years a skateboarder and the author of several books on its history, Zarka's idea of skateboarding, as a kind of re-writing of spaces destined for a particular use, rhymes with his approach to his artistic practice. Similar to the abandoned structures built for past moments of aspiration and endeavor, and the recurrence of forms put to new uses, Zarka's reflections on skateboarding signal ecology of art making of critical and contemporary relevance. For him it's not a question of an absolute reality but rather, what it is, has been or might be depending on the position from which you view it.

Extract from Raphael Zarka Geometry Improved, a text by Suzanne Cotter

Personal exhibitions include Les Prismatiques, Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye (Poissy, France) in 2013, Le tombeau d'Archimède, Le Grand Café (Saint-Nazaire, France), Gibellina, Stroom Den Haag (La Haye, The Netherlands), Gibellina, CAN (Neuchâtel, Switzerland) in 2011, PERGOLA, Palais de Tokyo (Paris) in 2010, Geometry Improved, Modern Art (Oxford, UK) in 2009. He also participated to group shows such as Sound Spill, Zabludowicz Collection (New York) in 2013, Les dérives de l'imaginaire, Palais de Tokyo(Paris), Apartés, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Performa 11, New Visual Art Performance Biennial (New York) in 2011. His work has been presented through screenings such as Species of Skateboarding, Tate Modern (London) and Video et Après, Centre Pompidou (Paris) in 2011. His first monography has been published in 2012 by B42 / Galerie Michel Rein.

He awarded the Ricard Prize in 2008. And he's nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2013.

His work is included in leading museum and foundation collections such as Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris; Fondation d'Entreprise Ricard, Paris; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; MUDAM, Luxembourg; Zabludowicz Foundation, London; Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Selected press


La Libre Belgique

Les appropriations modernistes de la gťomťtrie

March 2014


Exposition Sťrignan

February 2014


RaphaŽl Zarka, en pleines formes

February 2014

Beaux arts magazine

RapaŽl Zarka, l'ange de la gťomťtrie

February 2014

Les inRockuptibles

Recommandť. Une semaine bien remplie

December 2013


Apresentando RaphaŽl Zarka, o Skatista que virou artista

February 2013


RaphaŽl Zarka: in the studio

February 2013

Le journal des Arts

Corrťlations sans lien

January 2013


RaphaŽl Zarka

October 2012

Perfoma Magazine

Free Ride: The Art (and Science) of Skateboarding

June 2012


it would have been so much easier to start from the beginning

January 2012

Le monde

ņ Saint Nazaire, RaphaŽl Zarka fait valser les siŤcles

December 2011

Le Quotidien de l'art

RaphaŽl Zarka, archťologue de notre regard moderne

December 2011

AD magazine

RaphaŽl Zarka, chasseur de natures mortes

June 2011

Kunst Bulletin

RaphaŽl Zarka - Gibellina

March 2011

Metropolis M


January 2011


Entretien avec RaphaŽl Zarka

November 2010


The mechanics of form on the rťcurrences dťrobťes of RaphaŽl Zarka

November 2009


Riding modern art RaphaŽl Zarka

November 2008


Le mouvement des formes

September 2008

EXIT Express

Erudicion concreta

May 2008


RaphaŽl Zarka

March 2008



RaphaŽl Zarka

July 2014
Publisher: Musťe de Sťrignan
ISBN 978-2-9541245-4-45 €

RaphaŽl Zarka

November 2012
Publisher: Editions B42, Galerie Michel Rein30 €
Buy online in Publication
RaphaŽl Zarka

On a day with no waves (a chronicle of skateboarding 1779-2009)

November 2011
13.70 €
RaphaŽl Zarka

La conjonction interdite

November 2011
RaphaŽl Zarka

Free Ride, skateboard, mťcanique galilťenne et formes simples

November 2011

En milieu continu

October 2007
Publisher: …cole rťgionale des Beaux-Arts de Nantes