Nicolas Sanhes was born September 10, 1965 in Rodez. Surrounded by his two brothers, he grew up on the family farm from their parents.
In 1984 he starts courses of fine art at Perpignan where he discovers his first museum, the Céret's Museum. During his studies, he is quickly attracted to the radical positions of artists like Ad Reinhardt or Elsworth Kelly who push the internal contradictions of art to their limits.
From 1987 to 1989, Sanhes will primarily use tar, a deep black material, that he will use on large surfaces. These huge black 'fields' are both a denial of any possible form and the background on which, with time, will appear both new and unexpected forms. This exploration leads directly to the sculpture. The inherent force in the balance-shape-space.
Back in Rodez from 1989 to 1995, Nicolas Sanhes continues his first work called “Sculpture Tools” and implements step by step formal principles of repetition, which are still present today. A first period employs curved lines, simple volumes. He presents sculpture as a construction and installs complex production systems. From this birth of the sculpture, straight works are formed. A new relationship to the ground occurs confirming their affiliation to the furniture.
His first large solo exhibition at the Museum of fine arts Denys Puech (Rodez) marks the end of his research of his time spent in Rodez.
In 1995 to 1997 Nicolas Sanhes moves to Lyon and starts to collaborate with Gallery Georges Verney-Carron and with the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the award-winning team of the competition of the rehabilitation from the village square in Rodez. With this experience he approach the public space for the first time.
In 1997 Nicolas Sanhes moves to Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines where he still lives and works.
In the years from 1997 to 2000, he momentarily abandons steel and begins a new series of works, which he calls “Singular Evidences”: accumulations of strips of wood, emerging and receptive forms of space. Nicolas Sanhes produces these work during the period of revalidation from cancer that has kept him away for several months from his studio. This work, devoid of any sentimentality in favor of a single questioning around sculpture, will later be revealed as a double mark on the materiality of things and their measurable limits.
The ten tons of Steel Cast No. 1 completes the series of “Singular Evidences”. (2001 – 2004). Nicolas Sanhes makes a radical shift with the series of “Maillages”, works wired in steel log, issued from digitalizing the works of wood.
Somehow it is the DNA of the works to come. For two years, he develops this work to finally keep a set of lines only, similar to an ouroboros, becoming the formal mark of his current work.
In between 2004 and 2014 Nicolas Sanhes creates works that become more and more monumental. His understanding and control technical constraints, dimensions allow him to produce his first public commissions for cities like Trappes in 2007 and Montélimar the following year.
Built for the city of Valenciennes in square “H, HV11” will be his most complex work carried out to date.
These ten years of research on the line are going to be carriers of a new geometry that he will define with the art critic Jean-Louis Poitevin as "Incidental Geometry”. Nicolas Sanhes doesn't think on 'the line' as a series of points in space but in its thickness because for him, it consists of the relation between a plan and a vertical. The line can no longer -in the space - obey to the conventional rules of geometry. By thinking as such, Nicolas Sanhes found and
confirms his proper style.