Sabine Mirlesse • Pietra Di Luce



Sabine Mirlesse • Pietra Di Luce

Past: January 23 → March 21, 2020


As a reflection on Dante’s Divine Comedy from which she gets her inspiration, Sabine Mirlesse invites us to journey through her series Pietra di Luce, drawing from the heart of the Earth the matter that will transport us beyond the firmament.


In Dante’s verses the Earth lies at the centre of the Universe, a universe divided into three realms. Each realm takes the form of a cantica ending in the word “stars” (stelle) creating a kind of poetic architecture and claiming an ultimate presence, through the placement of the word itself. The stars are there, somewhere, in every stratum of our universe; they are the conclusion. Sabine Mirlesse’s photographs, in turn, awaken from the geological depths, where, starting from the deepest darkness, the artist leads us towards light, only to plunge us once again into the interstellar night.

Sabine began her quest for the stars in the Apuan quarries of northern Tuscany, in the poet’s native region. As she studied mineral forms, dust explosions, spiral nebulae with diamond threads and fractures, her project became a series of reflections on stellar forms throughout the subterranean world.

Gtb sabine mirlesse pietra di luce starchaeology no 2 courtesy galerie thierry bigaignon 1 medium
Sabine Mirlesse, Starchaeology No. 2 — Pietra di Luce, 2017 Sabine Mirlesse — Courtesy Galerie Thierry Bigaignon

In the manner of the quarrymen, the artist extracts from the bowels of the mountain a collection of photographs, drawings, oil monotypes, embossings, reliefs, photograms, and stone sculptures as reflections on the possibility of stars living inside the Earth. Then begins a process of experimentation, of stratification. The interior of the mountain becomes her darkroom, from where light is given surface.

Sabine Mirlesse connects geology and photography in her hypothesis that they are the great guardians of time, both vulnerable and resilient. Working in layers and editions, she combines photographic and stratigraphic processes to explore the history of the Earth, strata and imprints, the relationship of the individual to his or her origin, and the capacity of a place to evoke narrative, real or imagined.

Thierry Bigaignon adds: “As a Franco-American artist, Sabine Mirlesse is greatly inspired by literature. If she is above all a photographer, by her education, drawings, found images, relief prints, stone sculpture, installations, video and writing are just as much a part of her practice. This series, so subtle, so profound and so accomplished, mirrors the talent of this young artist whom I am particularly happy to represent.”

The second monograph by Sabine Mirlesse, Pietra di Luce (ed. Quants, 2019), including essays by Federica Soletta and Jean-Pierre Criqui, and published in 220 copies, will be presented during the exhibition and available for sale on the gallery’s website.

  • Opening Thursday, January 23, 2020 6 PM → 9 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

18, rue du Bourg-Tibourg

75004 Paris

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Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment Ouverture également sur rendez-vous pour visites privées, 7 jours/7, entre 10h et 20h. Réservation sur le site de la galerie.

Venue schedule

The artist