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View of “Simone Fattal,” 2015.

Simone Fattal

Balice Hertling | 47 bis Rue Ramponeau

View of “Simone Fattal,” 2015.

Simone Fattal abandoned Beirut in 1980, when Lebanon was mired in civil war. Leaving her home, her studio, and her painting practice behind, and settling in Sausalito, California, the Syrian–born artist enrolled in a sculpture course. One day, her teacher said to her, “Here is the earth. She is alive.” Fattal quickly embraced terra-cotta as a medium.

At the entrance to Fattal’s exhibition “Sculptures and Collages,” four upright figures in terra-cotta (all dated 2011) stood, seemingly headless, with abbreviated torsos, on neat metal plinths. The sculptures, which the artist often refers to as soldiers or warriors, are practically architectural, functioning as gateways to another time, another place, as well as gatekeepers to the magical space Fattal created here. The legs of these emphatically vertical figures hold a wide and sturdy stance. “My characters continue to be the link

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