Daniel Firman

Born in 1966, in Bron, France.

Lives and works in Dreux, France and New York, USA.


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

   Public collections

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

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, Lyon
November 03 - December 17, 2022

Daniel Firman, Paris
October 21 - December 04, 2021

Daniel Firman, New York
May 02 - June 15, 2019

Group shows at Ceysson Gallery
At Jean Prouvé, Offsite
July 15 - July 18, 2021

Spring Paris, Paris
May 18 - July 23, 2020

Solo shows 


Put on your red shoes and dance the blues, Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière, Paris, France

Plastic Confetti, Ceysson & Bénétière, New York, US

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

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

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

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

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

Back flip, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France

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

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

La masse grave, Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris, France

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group shows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAGIC, Domaine Départemental, Chamarande, France

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Galerie Patrick Martin, Lyon, France


Daniel Firman, published by Perrotin, MAC Lyon, and Grafiche Damiani, Bologna, Italy


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

LE FIGARO - Valérie Duponchelle - 25 avril 2023
LE FIGARO - Valérie Duponchelle
April 25, 2023
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LUXUS + - Art Basel Miami : découvrez le programme - 2022
LUXUS + - La Redaction
December 01, 2022
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LYON DEMAIN - Gaële Beaussier
December 01, 2022
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LE PETIT BULLETIN - Cinq expos (amoureuses) à voir en décembre à Lyon - 2022
LE PETIT BULLETIN - Jean-Emmanuel Denave
December 01, 2022
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L'OEIL - L’actualité des galeries : Daniel Firman - 2022
November 28, 2022
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LE PETIT BULLETIN - Daniel Firman, glaneur contemporain à la galerie Ceysson & Bénétière - 2022
LE PETIT BULLETIN - Jean-Emmanuel Denave
November 16, 2022
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RUE89LYON - Des objets qui font corps à la galerie Ceysson & Bénétière - 2022
RUE89LYON - La Redaction
November 16, 2022
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LA GAZETTE DROUOT - Daniel Firman à la galerie Ceysson & Bénétière - 2022
October 31, 2022
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CONNAISSANCE DES ARTS - Le rouge sulfureux de Daniel Firman - Marie Maertens - 2021
November 05, 2021
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PARIS CAPITALE - Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière : Daniel Firman - 2021
October 28, 2021
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ARTS MAGAZINE - Les narrations de Daniel Firman voient rouge - 2021
ARTS MAGAZINE - Gabrielle Gauthier
October 18, 2021
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ART PRESS - Daniel Firman - 2017
ART PRESS - Didier Arnaudet
September 01, 2017
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VICE MAGAZINE - A Hyperrealistic Sculptor Finds Freedom in a Fragmented Exhibition - 2016
VICE MAGAZINE - Nathaniel Ainley
February 01, 2016
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ARTRAVEL - Daniel Firman: Sculptor of Weightlessness - 2015
ARTRAVEL - Vanina Tarnaud
December 01, 2015
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ARTFORUM - Daniel Firman - 2013
ARTFORUM - Mara Hoberman
September 01, 2013
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June 01, 2013
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ART PRESS - Daniel Firman: The Art of Dangling - 2008
ART PRESS - Laurent Goumarre
May 01, 2008
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ARTRAVEL - Sculpteur de l'apesentaur
ARTRAVEL - Vanina Tarnaud
November 30, -1
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