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« Entre deux chaises, un livre » at Villa Empain until the 7th of September 2014.

A poetic exhibition around the symbolic meaning of the book and the chair! 

It is true that the double theme chosen by the Boghossian Foundation for its new exhibition seemed a bit mysterious at the first sight. But in reality, the display that shows about 200 artworks on the themes of the book and the chair aims to remain us the set of values and representations carried by those two objects.


The reflection around the symbolic nature of those introduces us to the intrinsic meaning they contain. Thus, it is not surprising that nowadays, many artists have developed a deep interest in the book, transforming it, manipulating it and appropriating it with their inspiration. The chair, which has also referred to symbolic, practices ever since humanity settled was historically associated with power. Think about the throne in the Antiquity and the Middle Age that until now reveals a certain type of hierarchy: a bench still appears less prestigious than an armchair. Like the book, the chair has been an inspiration for many artists.

Indeed, chairs and books are objects of everyday life, connected to certain developments in human culture and derived, at least in terms of their original materials (wood and paper), from trees. Please notice the impressive chair with branches by the Belgian artist Bob Verschueren in front of the bay window of the villa’s ground floor whose branching blend with the foliage of the garden. You will also find a chair with wings designed by the Czech-born artist Krištof Kintera or another one covered by crystals by the Netherland-Chinese artist Ka-Lai Chan or even another deconstructed one by the American Louise Nevelson and, cherry on the cake: a Book Chair designed by Richard Hutten which thereby combines the two themes.


In addition to valuable books on loan from the Royal Library, you will find several artworks inspired by the book. Anyway, the objects brought together for this exhibition at the Villa Empain form a surprising ensemble: here, between two chairs, there is always a book, a link, a sense and an invitation to dialogue.


“Entre deux chaises, un livre” every day from 10.00 am till 6.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

Fondation Boghossian - Villa Empain Centre d'art et de dialogue entre les cultures d'Orient et d'Occident Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 67 B – 1050 Bruxelles


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