MoMA PS1 presents the first solo museum exhibition in the United States of the work of Simone Fattal (Lebanese and American, b. 1942). This retrospective brings together a selection of over 100 abstract and figurative ceramic sculptures, paintings, and collages created over the last 40 years, drawing from a range of sources including war narratives, landscape painting, ancient history, mythology, and Sufi poetry to explore the impact of displacement as well as the politics of archeology and excavation.
Fattal was born in Damascus, Syria, and raised in Lebanon, where she studied philosophy at the École des Lettres in Beirut. She then moved to Paris, where she continued her philosophical pursuits at the Sorbonne. In 1969 she returned to Beirut and began working as a visual artist, exhibiting her paintings locally until the start of the Lebanese Civil War. She fled Lebanon in 1980 and settled in California, where she founded the Post-Apollo Press, a publishing house dedicated to innovative and experimental literary work. In 1988 she enrolled in a course at the Art Institute of San Francisco, which prompted a return to her artistic practice and a newfound dedication to sculpture and ceramics. Fattal currently lives in Paris, and she has had recent exhibitions at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech (2018), the Rochechouart Departmental Museum of Contemporary Art (2017), and the Sharjah Art Foundation (2016).