April 2020
I am a foreigner everywhere. Daughter of a French father and a Mexican mother, I was born in Brazil and live in New York. My roots and ties are in all these places. Main references are inherited, lived and invented memories. They are mixed and confuse. With my feet in the air and clouds, I live and create in search of my place and my peers. I wish to inhabit, establish bonds, built affections. As a social environmentalist at heart, I love nature and people.
October 2019
Monique Allain is an artist, educator and researcher, born in São Paulo in 1958. She completed a Bachelor degree in Physical and Biological Sciences in 1980 and postgraduate work in Genetics at University of São Paulo in 1983. Before engaging in the art field, she was an environmental consultant for the “Terra Capital Fund”, the first fund in the world to capitalize on business projects aimed at preserving biodiversity.
From 2000 until 2002 Allain worked as Assistant Cultural Manager at Casa das Rosas, a contemporary public art center in Brazil.
Along with a group of artists, sharing the desire to accentuate the participation of visual artists in the processes of cultural decisions, and expansion of the recognition and diffusion of visual art developed in Brazil, she created the Cooperativa de Artistas Visuais do Brasil (2003). In 2004, with the view to deepen and structure knowledge in the art field, and to maturate a personal language, Allain went back to university to study Visual Arts. In 2005 and 2006 she joined the artists Dácio Bicudo and Ivald Granato to create the “CEL1121”, a space for artistic actions. After completing a Bachelor degree in Visual Arts from FAAP (2007), she was awarded an art residence permit by FAAP at the Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, 2008). In 2011 she received a Master’s degree in Visual Arts from FASM-SP.
Interested in improving her creative process, Allain followed the Moshe Feldenkrais training method, and was certified by the International Feldenkrais Foundation (2012-2015).
Invited by ABER (Associação Brasileira de Encadernação e Restauro) to create and coordinate the art division “NÚCLEO DE ARTE”, in 2013 she developed multiple programs which promoted the study and production of artist's books, as a study group for artists, an Artist Book course, and the Vitrine Project. The experience expanded her interest in printed art, and enabled rich exchanges with other artists. These programs allowed the practice and the maturation of a pedagogical project that involved conception, construction, and presentation of artworks. In the Vitrine Project, four annual exhibitions of printed art showcased the work of consolidated artists (2013-2019).
In 2017, Allain applied, was selected and participated in the Program and Group of Contemporary Art and Production Studies led by Paulo Miyada and Pedro França at the Tomie Ohtake Institute, with focus on the deconstruction of certainties, experimentation and deepening of the creative processes.
Monique Allain’s most significant one-person exhibitions include Fluxos (2003) in Espaço Cultural dos Correios Rio de Janeiro, Art Babel (2009) in Cité Internationale des Arts, Horizontes (2013) curated by TOM van VLIET in Lourdina Jean Rabieh Gallery, and México Imaginário: um Livro Aberto (2016) in Hemeroteca da Biblioteca Mário de Andrade. In the exhibition Fluxos Allain presented bi-dimensional metal sculptures of the series Inconsciente and Janelas, which revealed the strong influence of Brazilian Constructive Art (Concretismo and Neoconcretismo). She presented ART BABEL 2009 while doing her residency at Cité Internationale des Arts. The work was created as an attempt to establish a communication channel between residents from different parts of the world, without a common language and place to congregate. She conceived a collective public intervention, inviting all to express themselves in their windows. The project was carried out with the support of the Cité Internationale des Arts. In the exhibition Horizontes, Allain presented the outcome of her deep interest and research in space and contemporary image. Eroded sceneries located in an undefined field between reality and fiction emerge from hybrids produced with digital fusion of landscape photographs and paintings. With Mexico Imaginário: um Livro Aberto, she meets her Mexican roots and recognizes the influence of that civilization in her identity. Brazil, where she was born and lived until 2018, is a colonized country, mixed with multiple cultures, still searching to consolidate a cultural identity.
Allain participated in several collective prestigious museum exhibitions as México Imaginário (2002) in Casa das Rosas, Olhar Impertinente (2004) in Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Contrapontos (2012) in Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo, and Elas: Mulheres Artistas no Acervo do MAB (2016) in Museu de Arte Brasileira (MAB). In the México Imaginário Exhibition curated by artist Felipe Ehrenberg, Allain was challenged to search and identify her Mexican background. The artist book she created in 2016 and presented in her solo exhibition “México imaginário: memórias herdadas, vividas e inventadas” in ABER (mentioned above), was a continuation of this process. For Olhar Impertinente (Impertinent Look), she created an artwork in partnership with Dácio Bicudo. Thinking about how self-criticism can be destructive, they presented a panel with the image of both and a target printed, pierced by gun bullets. For Contrapontos (2012), she exhibited the video installation Requiem, a criticism of values and material attachments from religious institutions, highlighting the strong influence of religion on Brazilian politics and society. During her art residency in France, she explored her paternal roots, investigating the relationship between identity, memory and entropy. The work presented in the exhibition Elas, crystalized this exploration.
Allain’s work was selected for several international exhibitions including Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney, 1st Latin American Maimeri Award in Buenos Aires, Contemporary Art 2000 at Espace Auteuil in Paris, Puls Art at Cité des Arts in Le Mans, Ars Latina at Museo Internazionale Dinâmico Di Arte Contemporanea in Belforte del Chienti, Italy.
Monique Allain’s work is included in the permanent collections of the following prestigious institutions: MAB, Espaço Cultural dos Correios, Palácio 9 de Julho, and Benetton Foundation.

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