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Matisse Mesnil


Born in 1989 in Italy (Castiglion Fiorentino), Matisse Mesnil lives and works in Paris.

His work takes the form of research: initially concerned with challenging the Albertian paradigm of painting, which describes it as a window onto the world, Matisse Mesnil embarked on a journey to go beyond the artwork and focus on the frame. “It must be approached differently,” as Jacques Derrida said; meaning that the parergon (“beside,” “additional,” or “accessory”) should become the ergon (the work itself).

By concentrating on what diverges from the artwork, Matisse Mesnil engaged in a phase of technical and methodological experimentation specific to his new preferred material, metal. Balancing between craftsmanship and industry, this required adjustments in technique, timing, and tools. This phase of experimentation led to a gradual shift, a return to the royal path of artistic practice: figuration. The work on the frame and margins, which hollowed out the artwork, leaving only a hazy, movable image, gradually produced a return to representation over the course of practice.

Matisse Mesnil, using industrial techniques like welding and grinding, reenacts the means of figuration, especially in its most common genres like landscape and still life. The noisy world of industry is thus juxtaposed with the ethics and aesthetics of silent contemplation that runs through the history of landscape. A subtle violence underlies his latest pieces, which, nonetheless, evoke a form of religiosity. This religiosity is also found in the scenographic and architectural demands that govern his work: Matisse Mesnil’s works, from their format to their mode of presentation, are designed to be approached within the space and in proportion to their viewers.


  • 2003 - 2008

    Liceo Artistico Bruno Munari, Vittorio Veneto, Italy

Public Collections



  • 2024

    SOPRAVVIVO, pal project, Paris, FR


    ICONOCRASH, Gate44, Milan, IT

  • 2021

    Fractura, Poush Manifesto, Paris, FR

    Seafoam, Spaziomensa, Rome, IT

  • 2020

    Solution des contraires, 35fsd, Paris, FR

  • 2018

    Chassés/croisés (with writer Oscar Coop-Phane), Galerie MR14, Paris, FR

  • 2017

    Tracce, Galerie Chappe, Paris, FR


    Passions partagées, Mucem / Collection Lambert, Marseille, FR

    Ghost town, Double V, Marseille, FR

    Empreinte, John Ferrère, Paris, FR

    Revenir du présent, Collection Lambert, Avignon, FR

  • 2022

    Collection Vol. 1, Sira, Paris, FR

    Les échos d’un temps lointain arrivent en sifflant sur le sable, Poush Manifesto, Paris, FR

    Bienvenue Art fair, Hotêl La Louisiane, Paris, FR

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