‘The Language of Fire – Flaming Imaginary’ by Jean Boghossian

The solo exhibition of Jean Boghossian titled “The Language of Fire – Flaming Imaginary. Shapes and Rhythms of Universal Instability,” curated by Bruno Corà, was inaugurated at Villa Zito’s Pinacoteca in Palermo. The exhibition project, organised by Fondazione Sebastiano Tusa, received support from the City of Palermo and Fondazione Sicilia and is part of the collateral events of Festino di Santa Rosalia 2023.

Jean Boghossian, Untitled, 2009, Acrylic on Steinbach paper, 118 x 82 cm, Villa Zito, Fondazione Sicilia, © Studio Jean Boghossian

The exhibition celebrates the cultural dynamism and historical significance of Sicily and the Mediterranean region. The display showcases Boghossian’s comprehensive collection, portraying the artist’s acute awareness of socio-cultural, geopolitical, and ecological contexts. The exhibition is a testament to the continued mission of Fondazione Sebastiano Tusa, dedicated to fostering knowledge and appreciation of cultural heritage.

The Language of Fire – Flaming Imaginary will be showcased at various venues across Palermo, including Villa Zito, Palazzo Branciforte, the Biblioteca Comunale di Casa Professa, and the Church of San Crispino and Crispiniano and San Michele Arcangelo. Additionally, the indoor and outdoor spaces of Villa Igiea and the Verdura Resort of Sciacca, part of the Rocco Forte Hotels group, will host some of Boghossian’s striking paintings and sculptures.

Portrait of Jean Boghossian at Villa Zito © Lisa De Boeck copy

Through this exhibition, Fondazione Sebastiano Tusa aims to promote linguistic maturity in contemporary art, drawing inspiration from pioneering artists like Pollock, Burri, Arman, Klein, and Piene. The Language of Fire – Flaming Imaginary serves as an artistic platform for dialogue, dismantling barriers, and fostering shared awareness while celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Mediterranean.

Villa Zito © Studio Jean Boghossian

About Jean Boghossian

Jean Boghossian, born in 1949, is an abstract multidisciplinary artist based in Brussels and Beirut. Since 1988, he has been exploring the use of fire in his artworks, deliberately subjecting them to burn degradation to seek harmony. Despite knowing that flames and smoke are unpredictable, Boghossian embraces the fire dance until he achieves the desired balance. Originally from Aleppo, he hails from a family of jewellers and studied Economics and Sociology in Beirut before settling in Belgium due to the Lebanese Civil War. Over three decades ago, he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels while managing the family business. In 1992, he co-founded the Boghossian Foundation with his brother and father. Boghossian is globally recognized for his experimentation with fire and smoke in various artistic expressions. He transitions towards abstraction in his art, drawing inspiration from the Zero-movement and Fluxus without identifying with any specific artistic movement. His creations involve diverse materials such as canvas, paper, books, plastics, wood, polystyrene, clay, marble, and bronze. He employs various techniques, including watercolour, charcoal, oil, pigments, acrylic paint, folding, collage, and uprooting to shape his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. The use of fire remains a defining aspect of his artistic language.

Location: Villa Zito’s Pinacoteca in Palermo

Date:  22 July – 9 October 2023

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