A brush with... Marguerite Humeau

Ben Luke talks to Marguerite Humeau about her influences—from writers to film-makers, musicians and, of course, other artists—and the cultural experiences that have shaped her life and work.

Humeau was born in 1986 in the French city of Cholet, near Nantes, and lives in London. She creates extraordinary sculptural environments in which the scientific and the speculative are fused. She acknowledges the perilous present state of the planet and the future of humanity while exploring histories of life on earth across millennia, drawing on mainstream and fringe scientific theory, science fiction and various cultural phenomena, to create dramatic tableaux that are hugely distinctive in their visual language and subject matter. She asks fundamental questions about the world we inhabit and the meaning of human existence. She discusses her early love of the painting of Marlene Dumas, her awe at the work of Pierre Huyghe and how Nina Simone is an ongoing role model. She also reflects on her fascination with Leonora Carrington and the musicians Angel Bat Dawid and Bendik Giske. Plus, she gives insight into her studio life and answers our usual questions, including the ultimate: “What is art for?”

Marguerite Humeau: meys, White Cube Bermondsey, London, until 14 May; Orisons, Black Cube, San Luis Valley, Colorado, 24 June-June 2025.

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