Biography and Texts


Jakob Gautel, born in 1965 in Karlsruhe, Germany, lives and works in Paris and elsewhere.
From 1985 to 1991 he studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, in engraving, lithography and with Christian Boltanski.
He exhibits regularly in France and abroad, in galleries, museums, art centers and associative spaces, participates in art biennials in France and abroad (Limerick, Melle, Yokohama, Çanakkale, Thessaloniki). He is very interested in projects seeking to redefine the relationship between the artist and his audience.
He carries out interventions in cities (e.g. in Montbéliard, 2010) and neighborhoods and creates works of art for the public space (including the place of the prefect Claude Erignac in Paris, 2004).
Between 1995 and 1997, he stayed for six months in Indonesia, from 1999 to 2000 at the Villa Medici in Rome, and in summer 2017 he was in artist residency at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. In 2008 he was named Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters.
He has pieces in important collections, the FNAC, the FRAC Normandie Rouen and Poitou-Charentes, the MAC VAL, the FMAC Paris Collection, the photo collection Fondation Neuflize Vie, the artothèques of Limousin and Châtellerault, the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, the Palace of Justice and the University of Poitiers.
He teaches at ENSAPLV, for a bachelor’s degree (including courses on Body and Space and on Public Art) and for a master’s degree in the fields of Scenography and Architecture, coordinator Mahtab Mazlouman.
In his protean work (photo, video, installation, performance, drawing, books…), he questions the image and the process of becoming image, and explores the limit between being and appearing, reality and fiction. The image (photographic or video) becomes an interface between past and present, the time of the person or situation photographed and the time of the viewer. The relationship to memory, but also to the present and to current events are questioned.
He seeks the production of meaning rather than the production of objects.
Among his recent artistic research projects:
the bauhaus heritage, on the Bauhaus movement in Germany through the story of his grandparents Corona Krause (1006-1948) and Hermann (Sven) Gautel (1905-1945), students of this avant-garde school.
Justice(s), a project of photos and texts on the notion of justice in the broad sense, bringing together a wide variety of participants. To date, the project has gathered more than a hundred portraits.
Hommage au Travail, research project, since 2023, Ivry-sur-Seine, as part of the Triennale Art Public #3, Galerie Fernand Léger. An empty plinth becomes the base for questionning the notion of work today.