Lovers Park Yerevan | Unveiling of the scultpure “Coeur d’obsidienne” of the artist Jean-Michel Othoniel
Between the years 2006 and 2010 the Boghossian Foundation took on the task of designing and renovating Lovers’ Park in Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia.
The park, located in the city centre, had until then been left in a state of abandon and required major landscaping works. During this same period, the Boghossian Foundation undertook the restoration of the Villa Empain in Brussels. Once it had been restored to its original condition, this masterpiece of Brussels Art Deco opened its doors to the public in April 2010. French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel created a monumental work in Murano glass decorated with gold leaf to be installed in the Villa’s main hall to celebrate the occasion. This magnificent sculpture is now a permanent feature of the museum.
The following year, the Boghossian Foundation invited Jean-Michel Othoniel to travel to Armenia in order to design a new monumental work for Lovers’ Park in Yerevan. During his stay, he learned of the country’s seams of obsidian, which are one of Armenia’s particularities. This material, combining the characteristics of glass and stone, has always been a source of inspiration for the artist. On 24 May 2014, the Boghossian Foundation had the pleasure of inaugurating the work installed in the park. The sculpture is made entirely from obsidian and seems to burst out from the water. Its shape symbolizes the country itself, the material stands for the power of fire, and the place where it was installed was chosen to symbolize permanence.
Jean-Michel Othoniel has always used glass in his creations, weaving a magical atmosphere that transforms the place of their installation whilst creating a new poetic narrative.
Born in 1964, the artist has enjoyed considerable success since the early 1990s in France and abroad. In January 2014, he set up a workshop in the Palace of Versailles, where he is currently working on three large glass sculptures to be installed in the grove of the Versailles Water Theatre, which was redesigned in collaboration with landscape designer Louis Belech. The works will be installed during summer 2014.