Marie Luce Nadal


Marie-Luce Nadal was born in 1984 in Perpignan, France

She lives and works mainly in Paris, France 

Marie-Luce Nadal is a queer artist and researcher. 

Her research stands at the crossroads between artistic and scientific exploration. The atmosphere is her main material, which she uses to reproduce clouds, to capture lightning, to cultivate mist and to provoke rain. Always haunted by the same question: how to capture the air, how to possess the elusive? 

Between industrial production and utopian dreams, Marie-Luce Nadal continues the war started by her winegrowing ancestors: mastering the sky. Like a modern-day alchemist, she creates mist and cloud formations, follows the flow of breath in order to reveal the topography of a wandering spirit, and tries to control the behaviour of insects. She elaborates machine-works that have the particularity of mixing plastic uniqueness, scientific research and technical viability. Through her works, installations and performances, Marie-Luce Nadal gives the sky a symbolic and political tension. Nadal’s works often involve the use of advanced technologies, and her oeuvre includes objects, photographs, videos, installations and performances.


«My dream, I want to see it in the fray, 

I want it to be real, I want it to be armed!» 

Lauro de Bosis, Icarus (1927) 

Marie-Luce Nadal’s artworks are the clues of a mythical narrative that she invents and unfolds through her  interventions, exhibitions and performances. The sources of her work are spontaneously mixed with intimate  and family history, scientific research, agricultural and peasant knowledge, ancestral beliefs and contempo rary artistic practice. Marie-Luce Nadal gives herself the means to recreate a world, worlds, to better unders tand and inhabit ours. An energetic and vital challenge – sometimes dangerous!  

Artist-researcher, artist-engineer, architect and set designer by training, she has been working for more than  ten years with scientists, making their laboratories her studio. Her inventions summon the elements, use  mechanics, play with physical forces. Her machines are attempts to master and appropriate natural pheno mena. «Each production is a new experiment, which tries to understand in a sensitive way our relationship  with the atmosphere» she explains. Her research tells of the age-old human obsession to measure up to nature  and to control it. In the 1960s Yves Klein imagined an Architecture of the Air, Olafur Eliasson more recently  created the Weather project (an artificial sun raised to a height of thirty-five meters and multiplied by a set  of mirrors in the lobby of the Tate Modern in London). Another daughter of Daedalus, Marie-Luce Nadal  applies her art to subject nature to its own laws.  

«I consider this concept, the atmosphere, as a spatial structure of reference ensuring a form of immunity to  any human being and exerting on him reciprocally an action.» Born into a family of Catalan winegrowers,  the artist learned early on to deal with the vagaries of nature and weather phenomena. She expresses here  what irrigates her work, the unceasing dialogue with the sky, its attraction as well as its danger. Her works are  instruments for daydreaming, weapons to ward off the anxiety of being in the world as much as to express it.  Marie-Luce Nadal has thus created a Madeleine Crossbow made of steel and bra wires, equipped with silver  iodide for Faire pleurer les nuages (2015). She designed a portable Lightning Extractor (whipping through  the air, the user can capture its electrical charge) to harvest lightning strikes, loaded into the ammunition that  arms the AF21 (2018), a rifle equipped with a mirror-like sight to administer a lightning strike to oneself,  swallowing a dose of sky-air energy. In a fencing costume, adorned with her Mask of the Divinity of Mist  (2017), she exposes herself as a warrior, the heroine of a new narrative, that of the poetic hijacking of science  and the reappropriation by women of the masculine culture of the earth.  

Gestures, performances, protocols, the works that remain are usual objects, tools, inventions that we can  seize. La Fabrique du vaporeux (2014) is a cloud-capturing machine, a mobile laboratory that allows us to  take samples of «pure essences of clouds» around the world in order to make them, at will. They are preser ved in Eoloria (2015), cloud aquariums and dreamscapes, micro-territories of which she proposes that we  become the lucky owners.  

Demiurgic fantasies or examples of «reduced models» of the world, according to the word of Claude Le vi-Strauss (La pensée sauvage, 1962), to access the knowledge of reality? The works of Marie-Luce Nadal  weave little by little a singular fiction, with its own vocabulary – which joins the drunkenness of the wine to  the vertigo of the sky in the V(a)in des Grâces à l’usage de tous ceux qui cherchent à se saisir de ce qui ne  s’attrape pas (2016) -, with its network of signs and objects. A song that could be the exhilarating Pink Floyd  song for Obscured by clouds. 



2017  Ph.D. EnsAD, PSL Research University, Paris, France
Practice based Ph.D. Science, Art, Creation, Recherche (SACRe)
Dissertation title: De Lents Semencements (Slow Seeding) Advisors: Nadeije Laneyrie Dagen (EnsAD, ENS, Art Theory) and Eduardo Wesfreid (PMMH-ESPCI, Physics)

2012 M.F.A. École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD), Paris, France

2009 M.Arch. École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Montpellier, France

2005 B.Arch. École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Montpellier, France


Solo Shows

2021 Make the Clouds Cry, Pengerkatu7Tyohuone, Helsinki, Finland
AwE, Online exhibition, Artist with Evidence, New York City, NY, USA

2020 Accrochage, Atelier Basfroi, Paris, France
(R)éparer le Ciel, Galerie Faure Beaulieu and Galerie S35, Paris, France

2019 Open Window, Fabernovel, Private Collection, Paris, France L’Orféo: Opéra Luette, Musée des Abattoirs, Toulouse, France

2018 AuraFulminis 21, Galerie Hus, Paris, France

2017 Solid Precipitation, LMAK Gallery, New York City, NY , USA
De Lents Semencements, EnsAD, Paris, France

2015 La Fabrique des Nuages, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

2014 Sur les pas d’Edgar Sibel, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France


Group Shows

The Gaia Hypothesis, The Elemental, Palm Springs, CA, USA
Varia, Centre d’Art Contemporain de Meymac, France
Les échos d’un temps lointain arrivent en sifflant sur le sable, Poush, Aubervilliers, France
Espace, Native Volume III, Paris, France
Novacène, UTOPIA Lille 3000, Gare Saint-Saveur, Lille, France
Art Rotterdam [fair], Galerie Bacqueville, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Hacking Identity Dancing Diversity, ZKM for Esch2022, European Culture Capital, Luxembourg
Art Paris [fair], Fondation Ruinart and Art of Change 21, Paris, France
La Matière du Monde, Galerie Municipale Jean Collet, Vitry, France

Regarder vers le ciel, Galerie des Hospices, Canet en Roussillon, France
Dones, Chapelle des Armées, Amélie les Bains, France
Paradis Artificiels, Galerie Bacqueville, Lille, France
Dans l’œil de Daniel Pommereulle, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris, France Le Regard du Temps, CulturFoundry, Paris, France
Avalanche, PAL Project, Paris, France
Art Paris [fair], Galerie Faure Beaulieu, Paris, France
2020 Programme spécial, Poush Manifesto, Clichy, France O.N, Octobre Numérique, Arles, France
Die Wolken und die Wolke, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, Germany In The Clouds, Stavanger Art Museum, Stavanger, Norway
SP Arte

[fair], Luis Maluf Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Negative Space, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany Collapse, Saint Agnes Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Galeriste [fair], Galerie Faure Beaulieu, Paris, France

Regarder l’agreste paysage, Afiac, France
L’intelligence du rêve, Galerie EOF, Paris, France
Vertige, Centre d’art Labanque, Béthune, France

Cloud >< Forest, New Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia Co-Mutation, Maison des Arts Georges et Claude Pompidou, Cajar, France L’éternité par les Astres, Centre d’art Les Tanneries, Amilly, France 2016 Birds and Spaces, B4belAb Gallery, Oakland, CA, USA Lumière de l’Aube (Yoko Ono's guest), Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France 2015 Formes Elémentaires, Planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin, France Nuits des danses perdues, Palais de Tokyo: Hors les Murs, Paris, France Laps, Carreau de Cergy, Cergy Pontoise, France Le parfait flâneur, Palais de Tokyo: Hors les Murs, Biennale de Lyon, France Visions d’épigénétique, Galerie de la Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France 2014 Capitaine Futur, Gaité Lyrique, Paris, France Performances

Collection Privée, Pré aux pierres, ADIAF, Conde sur Versgre France

The Very First Sensorium of Artistic Research, Finnish Institute, Paris, France
Festival Nuit Fictions, Ateliers de Paris CDCN, Paris, France

L’orféo: Opéra Luette, Musée des Abattoirs,Toulouse, France
L’intelligence du rêve, Galerie Eof, Paris, France
IcadeArt and DesignLab, Aubervilliers, France
Festival Marée Basse, Trouville, France
Performance Pets, Maleki House, Private Collection, London, UK

Co-mutation, Maison des Arts Georges et Claude Pompidou, Cajar, France L’éternité par les Astres, Centre d’art des Tanneries, Amilly, France

Beneath the Moon, LASALLE, College of the Arts, Singapore André et les Météores, Galerie Antoine, Paris, France

Le Parfait Flâneur, Palais de Tokyo: Hors les Murs, Biennale de Lyon, France Vision d’épigénétique, Institut Curie, Paris, France
Nuit des danses perdues, Palais de Tokyo: Hors les Murs, Paris, France

Art Residencies

2022 French Institute, Phnom Penh, Cambodgia (October -December)
2018 Fondation Hartung-Bergman, Antibes, France
2017 Maison Daura, Residence Internationale d’Artistes, Saint Cirq Lapopie, France 2014-17 Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
2009 Pimpolhos, Santo Cristovo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2006 Center for Advanced Studies on Arid Zones, Atacama desert, Chile

Awards and Grants
2022 ArtSituacions III Award, Barcelona, Spain 2021 Prize Art Of Change 21, Paris, France
2020 DICREAM Research Grant, Centre National de Cinématographie (CNC), Paris, France 2018 Mezzanine Award for Contemporary Art, Musée des Abattoirs, Toulouse, France
2013 Gautier Delaye Award, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France 2012 Doctoral grant SACRe, PSL Research University, Paris, France
2006 Scholarship of the French Ministry of Culture, Atacama desert, Chile

Artwork in Exhibition