Martine Aballéa, born in 1950 in New York, is an unclassifiable figure in contemporary art. Her polymorphous artistic practice, initiated in 1975, is built around multiples (postcards, artists' books, posters, etc.), but also objects and installations. Her work gives life to imaginary places and mysterious plots, thus creating tales that are close to fairy tales. She articulates finely between texts and photographic images, retouched and coloured without naturalism. Images of nature and enhanced settings from which the human figure is always absent are amplified by the juxtaposition of legends or titles parodying the genres of fantasy literature and noir novels. Through these means alone, her productions offer a great journey of the mind.
From her earliest practices, her favourite subject has been the creation of imaginary establishments, such as L'Hôtel Passager, which was truly and physically embodied in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1999. She has distinguished herself through installations such as La Maison d'en dessous at the Narcissio in Nice in 2016. A new narrative was constructed in 2017 in Le Musée des amours, created for the EXTRA! festival at the Centre Pompidou, for which she designed the set.
Recently, Martine Aballéa exhibited her installation Eldorado Lounge at the Tri Postal, Lille, as part of the exhibition "Eldorama" (2019). Between 14 February and 13 September 2020, her work was on view in the exhibition "Cœurs. Du romantisme dans l'art contemporain" at the Musée de la vie romantique (Paris). In 2021, she was exhibited at Photo Saint-Germain at the Auguste Comte House, and the contemporary art centre Les Tanneries devoted a solo exhibition to her entitled "Résurgence". In 2022 her work is presented in the group show "Aoulioule" at the Musée régional d'art contemporain Occitanie – Sérignan. A personal exhibition, "La Maison lointaine" is dedicated to her at the Palais idéal du Facteur Cheval in Hauterives until March 2023.
Chus Martinez dedicated to her in October 2020 and at the request of the Pernod-Ricard foundation, the textwork "Un départ de feu radieux" (https:// www.fondation-pernod-ricard.com/textwork/martine-aballea-chus-martinez).
Collections: Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP), Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris; musée national d'Art moderne – Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris; Bibliothèque nationale de France, cabinet des Estampes, Paris; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; collection du ministère des Affaires étrangères, Paris; Fonds d'art contemporain – Paris Collections, Paris; Frac Basse- Normandie, Caen; Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou; Frac Aquitaine, Bordeaux; Frac Franche-Comté, Besançon; artothèque d'Angers; artothèque de Caen; les arts au mur – artothèque de Pessac; artothèque de Lyon.