Who is Pascale Marthine Tayou?

Pascale Marthine Tayou


Pascale Marthine Tayou (Nkongsamba, Cameroun 1966) has been internationally recognized since the 1990s and even more since his participation at Dokumenta 11 (2002) and at the Venice Biennale (2005 and 2009). The variability defines his work. It explores all types of medium – sculpture, installation, drawing, video – and, even though the themes are multiple, they all take the artist's image as a starting point.

At the beginning of his career, Pascale Marthine Tayou took a double female first-name : Pascal(e) Marthin(e). He thus ironically distances himself from the idea of a demiurge artist, from the man / woman categorization and from all geographical or cultural limitation. His works build bridges between civilizations and reveal the ambiguous relationships between human and nature. But they also stress that these relationships are the result of social, cultural and political constructions.

His work is deliberately mobile, elusive, heterogeneous and far from the expected patterns. It is always closely linked to the idea of travel and contact with the other, and it is so spontaneous that it almost seems offhand. The creations of Tayou all have a common feature: they all showcase the image of the man travelling around the world and exploring the question of the global village. It is in this context that Tayou is tackling his African roots and the questionings they are generating.

Tayou participated in numerous international exhibitions and artistic events such as the Turin Triennale (2008), the Kwangju (1997-1999), Santa Fe (1997), Sydney (1997), Havana (1997 - 2006), Liverpool (1999), Berlin (2001), Sao Paulo (2002), Münster (2003), Istanbul (2003) and Lyon (2000 – 2005) Biennales.

He presented personal exhibitions at the MACRO (Rome, 2004 - 2012), S.M.A.K. (Gand, Belgium, 2004), MARTa Herford (Herford, Germany, 2005), Milton Keynes Gallery (Milton Keynes, GB, 2007), Malmö Konsthall (Malmö, Sweden, 2010), Mudam (Luxembourg, 2011), La Villette (Paris, France, 2012), KUB (Bregenz, Austria, 2014), Fowler museum (Los Angeles, USA, 2014), at the Serpentine Gallery (Londons, GB, 2015), at Bozar (Bruxelles, 2015) and at the Musée de l’Homme (Paris, 2015).

Finally, his works appear in the collections of some prestigious international institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, the MUDAM (Luxembourg), ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst (Denmark), the SMAK, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Gand, Belgium), and the Kunsthaus in Bregenz (Austria).