Sosno and Rytis Daukantas, Sosno Art Gallery building

When art and architecture go head to head

Sosno Art Gallery takes (unusual) shape in France

New Realist artist Sacha Sosno is best known for his ‘unfinished’ or ‘distorted’ paintings and sculptures that force the viewer to use their imagination to fill in the missing gaps. It’s been called l’art d’oblitér or the ‘art of obliteration’. Sosno himself has said, “I only do 50% of the work; other people have to finish creating the sculpture.”

In recent years he’s extended the concept to huge outdoor sculptures mainly in the Côte d'Azur, France. He’s just begun work on another mammoth scheme, in Nice, with Lithuanian architect Rytis Daukantas. The Sosno Art Gallery Building is based on the proverb, “Before you look at the splinter in your neighbour’s eye, take out the log in your own.” The ‘log’ in this case is clad in wood and contains four art galleries, which are accessed by the central stair in the ‘neck’ of the building. A system of cantilevers will hold the ‘log’ in place.

Sosno built his first inhabited statue, a library, in Nice in the 1980s. The Riga-born artist’s parents had settled in the town when he was four. His earliest influences were his next door neighbour, Henri Matisse, and later Yves Klein. He’s currently also working on projects in Moscow, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi.