Daniel Firman

 ( 1966, Bron, France)

Born in 1966, in Bron, France
Lives and works in Bordeaux, France and New York, USA

Public collection

Musée d'Art contemporain de la Ville De Lyon, France
FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France
FRAC Languedoc-Rousillon, Montpellier, France
FRAC PACA, Marseille, France
FRAC Limousin, Limoges, France
FMAC - Fond municipale d'art contemporain de la ville de Paris, France
Collection Vranken-Pommery, France
Collection Antoine de Galbert, France
Aïshti Foundation, Lebanon The Farjam Collection, Dubaï
K 11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong
Daniel Firman's works operate like foreign bodies in reality: through a boomerang effect, they question everyday perception and sensations.
Deeply fuelled by artistic practices such as performance, dance and installation, his sculptures have the particularity of being condensed processes rather than motionless representations. Indeed, the artist relies on traditional sculptural techniques (modelling, moulding and accumulation) but always for purposes of reversal and of upsetting reality. Whether it be represented or not, the body is omnipresent in the process of creation and is first and foremost a tool for analysis. Taking advantage of the legacy of 1960s and 1970s American art - in particular Robert Morris and Bruce Nauman who both combined a practice of performance and the re-use of the experience of minimal sculpture in space - Firman questions contexts in their physical, psychic or sociological dimensions.

Marion Guilmot, extract from Vous etes sur la terre, sans remède


Hou Hanru - That’s exactly what I find interesting in what you say: Utopia and extending the way the body is used in space. I get the impression that you are looking for a self-sufficiency for construction, a sort of protocol or prototype for certain things that have a metaphysical quality in which architecture acts as a support for a sort of model of Utopia. And at the same time you say that you use the body as a process of escape into space. Are you talking about relationships with other people - social space? If so, what is that relationship?

Daniel Firman - I don’t really go for the idea of social space (in the society sense), but more for the idea of contemporary space, to stick with your notion of spacialisation.
Time (I mean the here and now) is a dynamic that has no duration. It’s slightly paradoxical, but I think it’s one of those things that are the hardest to control. So, as far as I’m concerned, not everything to do with duration is necessarily connected to time. Consequently, a procedural sculpture produces a Utopian residue of ‘stationary’ duration.

Yes, I do design things starting with the protocol. The process of escape interests me because it demonstrates the flexibility of the interpersonal space, which is already in itself a space that leans towards the ‘other’ (what you called ‘social space’ in your question). For a visitor looking at a sculpture in the Attitude series, the attitude is more an interpersonal relation than a social one. I don’t see it as a conflict; it’s more like interrelation spaces with an extra quality that is very hard to define; I mean empathy.

Empathy is a matter of saying that there’s no such thing as an unknown body (I mean ‘human body’). But at the same time, its function is tangible because it’s something specific that intervenes at inexpressible moments. That’s why I am interested in neuroscience and in the architects who advocated self-build.
You might wonder what the connection is… In both cases there is autonomy. Autonomy of construction is central to my work.

Take, for example, the series of figures carrying easily identifiable objects. It relates to a text by Laban with distinguishes between the two ancient actions of Scattering and Gathering. Those are two constant gestures that we’ve been performing since the beginning of time. The first stage is to manipulate the objects then to combine them and fit them in to one another. The collage takes shape through gravity, first as a simplified approach, then using internal combinations of structural and filling materials.
All that depends on other forces and it always has to be negotiated with what one might call ‘the real’ and ‘the constraints’. Quite often it gives rise to a slightly fanciful, Beckett-like vision of our relationship with the world. But I like the idea that a Utopia sometimes reveals a flaw or the paradox in our condition, the way a romantic criminal might do.


This text is an extract (p. 172-173) of the interview between Hou Hanru and Daniel Firman published in Daniel Firman’s catalogue for his exhibition « Grey Matter » at the contemporary art museum – MAC in Lyon (France), from May 25th to July 21st 2013
Solo shows at Ceysson Gallery
Daniel Firman, New York
May 02 - June 15, 2019


Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
Spring Paris, Paris
May 18 - July 23, 2020

Springs Paris II, Paris
June 02 - July 25, 2020


Solo shows

2019
Plastic Confetti, Ceysson & Bénétière, New York, US

2018
Choi&Lager Gallery, Art Brussels fair, Brussels, Belgium

2017
Black whole for whales, Base sous-marine, Bordeaux, France
Infra Gravity, Space K, Seoul, South Korea

2016
I'm keeping my distance, Choi & Lager, Cologne, Germany
The Fragment Dimension, The Pill®, Istanbul, Turkey

2014
Grandeur. French Sculpture from Laurens until today, Museum Beelden aan Zee - Sculptuur Instituut, The Hague, The Netherlands

2013
La matière grise, Musée d'Art contemporain, Lyon, France

2011
Back flip, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France

2009
SSHH, Venice Biennal, Venice, Italy
Bunny, Louis Vuitton store, Artyvitrine event, Lyon, France

2008
Wûrsa (from 18 000 kilometers of the earth), Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Daniel Firman, with the collaboration of the FRAC Alsace, Siège d'Arte, Strasbourg, France

2007
La masse grave, Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris, France

2006
Toucher : Coulé, Le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire, France
Le foulard d'Isidora, French cultural center, Milan, Italy
Essences insensées, Parcours Saint-Germain event, curated by Anne-Pierre d'Albis-Ganem, Christian Lacroix Store, Paris, France

2005
Push-pull, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Edouard Manet Gallery, Genevilliers, France
Galerie Artra, Milan, Italy

2004
Liquid cristal, Espacio Sin Titulo, Galerie Cano, Madrid, Spain
Danse le en déflexion, Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris, France
Co-intégral, Caisses des Monuments historiques du Languedoc-Roussillon, Carcassonne, Salses, Aigues-Mortes, FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Autoreverse, Néon, Lyon, France

2002
OAP en 3 zones, Abbaye Saint-André - Centre d'Art contemporain de Meymac, France
OAP en zone commerciale, Le Parvis, Tarbes, France
Dé-modélisation, Galerie Barnoud, Dijon, France

2001
Scattering / gathering, La Napoule Art Foundation, Château de la Napoule, Mandelieu La Napoule, France
Correspondant / correspondance, La Chambre Blanche, Quebec, Canada

2000
Usual globality, Espace d'art contemporain d'HEC, Jouy-en Josas, France
Élémentaire, Galerie Artra, Milan, Italy

1999
Nature d'un lieu (à propos d'un Ecart), FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France

1995
Espace d'Art Contemporain de la ville de Paris, France

Group shows

2020
Printemps , Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière, Paris, France
RECYCLER/SURCYCLER, Fondation Villa Datris, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Dancing Machine, Frac Franche-Comté, Besançon, France

2019
Une Poétique Du Multiple, Galerie de Multiples, Paris, France

2018
Sunny Winter & Pleasure, Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris, France
Musée en oeuvre(s): Nouvelle présentation des collections contemporaines, Centre Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, France
Collection, Museum of contemporary art, Lyon, France
Hyperrealism Sculpture, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands

2017
The Transported man, curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler, The Eli and Edythe Broad MSU Art Museum, Lansing, USA
Il est urgent de... l'art, FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Lycée Pierre et Marie Curie, Menton, France
SUPRA REEL, MEMENTO, Espace d'Art contemporain, Auch, France
GOSH! IS IT ALIVE ?, Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst, Ishoj, Denmark
Horizons, Collection en mouvement du FRAC Limousin, La Bergerie, Moutier d'Ahun, France
Imaginaires d'un monde in-tranquille, Abbaye Saint-André - Centre d'Art contemporain, Meymac, France
Rencontres à Réattu, Musée Réattu, Les Rencontres de la photographie d'Arles, France
Hyper Real, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
All I Want For Christmas Is..., Galerie de Multiples, Paris, France

2016
La French Touch, Artspace Boan 1942, Seoul, South Korea
Loft Story, Ciam La Fabrique, Toulouse, France
Dada est tatou, GDM Galerie de Multiples, Paris, France
Escultura Hiperrealista, Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, Spain
Le Cabaret au Salon, commissaire d'exposition : Ami Barak, Le Beffroi, Salon de Montrouge, France
YOKO ONO Lumière de L'aube, Museum of contemporary art, Lyon, France
Quindry present OAK, Quindry Antiquies, London, United-Kingdom

2015
2000 + 15 (15 years after), Blue Project Foundation, Barcelona, Spain
Et bien dansez maintenant!, Centre d'Art contemporain de Pontmain, France
If you see something, say something, Galerie Richard Mutt, Toulouse, France
Bonjour La France, commissaire d'exposition : Sunhee Choi, Seoungnam Art Centre & Goyang Culture Foundation, Seongnam & Goyang, South Korea
À l'avant-garde du Style, AD Intérieurs, Palais d'Iéna, Paris, France
Il fallait mettre des choses dans ce vide, La Réserve, Bordeaux, France

2014
G I R L, commissaire d'exposition : Pharell Williams, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France.
Décors à vivre : Les Arts Décoratifs accueillent AD Intérieurs, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France

2013
Happy Birthday Galerie Perrotin / 25ans, TRIPOSTAL, Lille, France

2012
Rob Pruitt's Flea Market, Monnaie de Paris, France
The Circus as a Parallel Universe, Kunsthalle, Wien, Austria
Néon. Who's afraid of red yellow and blue ?, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France

2010
MAGIC, Domaine Départemental, Chamarande, France

2009
L. Esteve, Kolkoz, X. Veilhan, I. Argote, D. Firman, M. Mercier, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami, USA
Le sort probable de l'homme qui avait avalé le fantôme, La Conciergerie, Paris, France
Les monuments nationaux, Centre Georges Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, France
In between, une étrange familiarité, Château de Nemours, Nemours, France
Un plan simple, commissaire d'exposition : Association le Bureau, Centre d'Art - Mira Phalaina, Montreuil, France
The Hidden Land, Gallery Nettie Horn, London, United-Kingdom

2008
Regarde de tous tes yeux, regarde, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole, France
Château de Tokyo / Palais de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, France
Lure, Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris, France
La dégelée Rabelais, FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, Château d'O, Montpellier and Centre des Monuments Nationaux, Aigues-Mortes, France
Less is less, more is more that's all, CAPC - Centre d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France
Regarde de tous tes yeux, regarde, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France
Métamorphose, Fondation pour l'Art contemporain Claudine & Jean-Marc Salomon, Abbaye d'Annecy-le-Vieux, France
Valeurs croisées, Ateliers de Rennes / Biennale d'art contemporain, Couvent des Jacobins, Rennes, France
Fragilités, FRAC Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-les-Rouen, France

2007
Dérive, curated by Mathieu Mercier, Fondation d'Entreprise Ricard, Paris, France
De leur temps (2), Art contemporain et collections privées en France, Musée de Grenoble, France
Répliques, curated by Hubert Besacier, Maison de la Culture d'Amiens, France
Espace Ventillo, curated by Judith Souriau, Brussels, Belgium
Portraits et figures dans la création contemporaine, Musée Paul Dini, Villefranche-sur-Saone, France
Zone de Productivités concertées, volet 2, curated by Frank Lamy, Mac/Val, Vitry-sur-Seine France
Hyères encore - Christian Lacroix avec David Dubois, Christian Rizzo, Daniel Firman, Galerie des Galeries, Paris, France
Mutadis, mutandis, extraits de la collection Antoine de Galbert, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France

2006
Génération Picasso, curated by Anne-Pierre d'Albis-Ganem, booth Citroën FIAC 2006, Grand Palais, Paris, France
Biennale Art Grandeur Nature, curated by Eric Joly, Blanc-Mesnil, France
Chauffe Marcel, curated by Emmanuel Latreille, FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, Montpellier, France
Super nova, curated by Judicaël Lavrador, Domaine de Pommery, Reims, France

2005
Propositions Lumineuses, Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris, France
Nuit blanche, La Poste du Louvre, Paris, France
Fée maison, invitation by Fabrice Hyber, La Briqueterie, Ciry-le-Noble, France
Le Génie du lieu, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, France
Remagine, Oeuvres du Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Musée d'Art contemporain, Lyon, France
L'idiotie expérience Pommery #2, curated by Jean-Yves Jouannais, Domaine Pommery, Reims, France
Anthologie der kunst, curated by Jochen Gerz, ZKM museum, Karlsruhe, Germany
El estado de las cosas, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporaneo, Vitoria, Spain

2004
O estado das cousas, Museo de arte contemporànea, Vigo, Spain
Nuits sonores, Bibliothéque Municipale, Lyon, France
De leur temps (1) Collections privées françaises, curated by Evelyne-Dorothée Allemand, Emilie Ovaere et Yannick Courbès, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tourcoing, France
Genesis sculpture, curated by Stéphanie Moisdon-Trembley, Domaine de Pommery, Reims, France
Immobilis, curated by le collectif Korzéart, Musée des Moulages, Lyon, France
de vous à moi, Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris, France
Valeurs, curated by Igor Antic & Svetlana Mladenov, Biennal of Pancevo, Serbia

2003
Extra !, curated by Marc-Olivier Walher, Swiss Institute, New-York, USA
Collection sans frontières, Galeria Civaca d'Arte moderna e contemporanea, Turin, Italy
10 Familles, 10 artistes + si a nité, ccurated by Patrick Tarres, Pascal Pique, FIAC, Paris, France
L'état des choses, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France

2002
Exhibition, le corps en situation, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Le Mans, France
Equivoque, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, France
Céramiques d'artistes II, curated by Anne-Claire Schumacher, Musée Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland
Voilà la France, Cesac, Experimental center for contemporary art, Caraglio, Italy
L'art en magasin, Galeries Lafayette, Limoges, France
Citoyens Bohèmes, Printemps Haussmann, Paris, France
Et réciproquement, oeuvres de la collection du FRAC Bourgogne, Château Chinon, France

2001
Ibilerak, Las representaciones del andar, Koldo mixtelena kulturunea, Donostia San Sebastian, Spain
Quotidien aidé (les locataires), curated by Franck Lamy, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Tours, France
Qui est là ?, Abbaye du Ronceray, Angers, France
Une exposition, un livre, Editions Janninck, Paris, France
De l'appartement à la galerie et vice-versa, Galerie Barnoud, Dijon, France
Espace vital, curated by Larys Frogier, Centre d'Art La Criée, Rennes, France
Coupé-collé, curated by Yannick Miloux, FRAC Limousin, Limoges, France
Ambiance magasin, curated by Jean-Paul Blanchet, Caroline Bissière, Abbaye Saint-André - Centre d'art contemporain de Meymac, France
B.Achour, R.Buchanan, C.Closky, D.Firman, F.Paire, curated by Sylvie Froux, Le Parvis, Centre d'Art contemporain, Pau, France
The happy face of globalisation, curated by Tiziana Casa-Pietra, Roberto Constantino, 1st Biennal of ceramic in contemporary art, Albisola, Italy

2000
Sur la terre comme au ciel, curated by Françoise Lonardoni, Bibliothèque de Lyon, France
Transfert, art dans l'espace urbain, curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler, Biel, Switzerland
Qui plume la lune, Collection FRAC Bourgogne, curated by Claire Legrand, Gueugnon, France
Narcisse Blessé, curated by Jean-Michel Ribettes, Passage de Retz, Paris, France
Projection, Collection FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France
Les figures de la marche, de Beuys à Nauman, curated by Maurice Fréchuret, Thierry Davila, Musée Picasso, Antibes, France
Intersection 1- Intime / anonyme, curated by Bernard Zurcher, Espace d'Art contemporain d'HEC, Jouy-en-Josas, France
Bricolage ?, curated by Emmanuel Latreille, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, France

1999
La Napoule Art Foundation, Château de La Napoule, Mandelieu la Napoule, France

1998
Entracte, Espace d'art contemporain de la ville de Paris, Paris, France
Jeux de genre - Collection de la ville de Paris, Espace Electra, Paris, France

1997
Simone Decker, Philippe de Gober, Daniel Firman, FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France

1995
Galerie Patrick Martin, Lyon, France
2013
Daniel Firman, published by Perrotin, MAC Lyon, and Grafiche Damiani, Bologna, Italy

2007
Chute Libre, Daniel Firman, Editions MAC/VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine, France

Daniel Firman: Sculptor of Weightlessness

Artravel - Vanina Tarnaud

December 01, 2015


Daniel Firman

ArtForum - Mara Hoberman

September 01, 2013


Daniel Firman du corps à l'ouvrage

Libération - M.C.V

June 01, 2013


Daniel Firman: The Art of Dangling

artpress - Laurent Goumarre

May 01, 2008