Chloé Quenum

 Chloé Quenum


Paris, France, 1983
Lives and works in Paris

Chloé Quenum

Chloé Quenum manipulates graphic, linguistic, and movable elements from various cultures that she has extracted from their context and schematises. These morph into signs, decorative forms of unidentifiable origin. She questions the effect that contextual displacement has on their power of evocation and hence their skill and ability to generate new sets of stories.

Rebus on calabashes from the Kingdom of Dahomey become organic, living forms organic, Hebrew script is transformed into a collection of ideograms of ideograms, motifs from wax fabrics metamorphose into abstract symbols, tattoos go from skin to paper, frames become anthropomorphic, provoking unexpected encounters between time, place, discipline, and culture. The essentialization of these elements – all bearers of an original history, whether distanced from their original meaning, can only be understood by those who know their codes. In making this transfer, Chloé Quenum invites them to write new narratives, but always in the mode of a cryptic language. In this way, she invites the imagination to project itself onto these new forms, still charged with the memory of their original meaning. 

Recent solo and group presentations of Quenum’s work at institutions include: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau (2023), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2021, 2014), Fondation Pernod-Ricard (2021, 2014, 2013), Fondation Kadist, Paris (2021, 2018), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019), Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2015), Collège des Bernardins, Paris (2014), Le Plateau, FRAC Île-de-France, Paris (2012).

Her works have joined the collections of Le Musée national d’art moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris; Frac Alsace, Frac Ile de France, Frac Grand Large, Frac Nouvelle Aquitaine, Crédit municipal of Paris, Fondation Kadist, Fondation Lafayette Anticipations.

Chloé Quenum currently represents Benin at the 60th Venice Biennial. In 2024 she will also participate in other projects at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy and the Zinsou Foundation, Benin.

Her first presentation at Martina Simeti is scheduled for the fall of 2024. 

Selected Works and Exhibitions