28 November - 7 April 2019
For his first Parisian exhibition, the artist Jean Boghossian invites you to discover at Galerie Pièce Unique a selection of his artworks conceived with the flame. After participating in the 57th Venice Biennale last year as a representative of the Armenian National Pavilion, Jean Boghossian continues his work with fire in a series entitled « Rhythms », presented for the first time this year in Beirut during an exhibition curated by Bruno Corà entitled « Building with Fire ». Based on the idea of building through the destruction caused by fire, and thus to overcome the negative connotation generally associated with this medium, the artist proposes a series of collages of coloured papers chiselled by the flame of the torch worked in alignments on monochrome backgrounds. These coloured abstract compositions, by their graphic structure and their fragility due to the delicate preservation of the ashes on the canvas, then emit a particular vibration which evokes a rhythm, a melody.

Referring to his art, Jean Boghossian explains: « When I experienced fire, he became my partner, he tamed me, he chose me; I am his mediator, his revealer. Fire is a violent element, but I decide to use it out of its context. I make it constructive by manipulating it to make art. » « Rhapsody in Red and Blue » thus refers to the symphonic dialogue that is created between the red work of the artist exhibited in the window of Pièce Unique and the blue which comes in several shades in the different works exhibited at Pièce Unique Variations.

Jean Boghossian is an abstract multidisciplinary artist whose artworks all bear, at different degrees, traces of burn degradation. Through the process of willful damage and the use of a blowtorch instead of a paintbrush, Boghossian raises the questions of what it means to create inextinguishable art with an invasive and violent, yet poetic method that intends to combine media by creating a construction through the deconstruction of flames. Born in Aleppo in 1949, Boghossian stems from a family of jewelers for whom he worked while studying Economics and Sociology at University of Saint-Joseph in Beirut. In 1975, the Lebanese Civil War forced Boghossian to leave the country and settle in Belgium where he resides today. Over three decades ago, Boghossian decided to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts in Boitsfort, Brussels, while continuing to oversee the family business. In 1992, he created the Boghossian Foundation with the support of his brother and father.

Boghossian is one of the few artists who experiments by applying fire and smoke to various works. Fire, being his artistic language of choice, is presented via a wide array of torches as his medium. Having transitioned a little more than a decade ago towards abstraction through alchemy, Boghossian’s art evokes a contemporary view on the Zero-movement and Fluxus. This being said, he does not belong to any recognized movement or school. Objects that Boghossian has attacked through the flame include canvas, paper, books and plastics, at times leaving behind patterns of perforation. In his paintings and drawings, Boghossian uses different multimedia including watercolor, charcoal, oil, pigments and acrylic paint with techniques that include folding, collage, and arrachage. Boghossian’s sculptures range from wood, polystyrene, clay, and bronze, some of which are flame-sensitive. Jean Boghossian has participated in recent solo and group exhibitions at Cardi Gallery, London (2018), Museum Ground, Korea (2018), L’Orient Le Jour building, Beirut (2018), the National Gallery of Armenia (2018), Frieze New York, Cardi Gallery (2018), Art Monte-Carlo, Cardi Gallery (2018), Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (2018), Armenian Center of Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan (2017), 57th Venice Biennale (2017), Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels (2017), Beirut Exhibition Center (2015, 2011), Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collection Burri, Città di Castello (2015), Museo Archeologico di Atina e della Valle di Comino, Atina (2015), Villa Empain – Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2014), Art Abu Dhabi (2013), Youngeun Museum of Contemporary Art, South Korea (2012), Galerie Guy Ledune, Brussels (2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007), and Armenian Center of Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan (2007).

Selected works

Exhibition views