Chryséléphantine brings together loaned works from Verboom’s vast archive and new pieces that draw on motifs and ideas inspired by her time in the Belgian capital. The columns are a sum of their parts. Each segment is fabricated with individual patterns and materials and is stacked to create infinite combinations and arrangements that draw on classical art and the urban context.
Verboom is a graduate of the Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the title of the show, Chryséléphantine, refers to the application of gold and ivory to objects and sculptures – a technique first developed by the Egyptians and adopted across the ancient world. The style achieved high status in ancient Greece through sculptors like Phidias, who created Zeus at Olympia – a lost ancient wonder of the world, which was thought to be destroyed in a fire around 426 CE.
Verboom explores the presentation of ancient plinths and mounts as part of engagement with the history of sculpture, including these lost relics. She also draws attention to the ‘behind the scenes’ processes used to create her ‘Achronies’, putting moulds and casts in the spotlight.
New works also directly reference public monuments and collections in Brussels while touching upon Verboom’s Flemish roots, traced through her great-grandfather, a flautist with the Théâtre de la Monnaie orchestra. His battered instrument finds expression through some of the forms.
Chryséléphantine is curated by Joel Riff and is his first show as head of programming for La Verrier. Riff has selected pieces from several artists, including Richard Deacon, Tjok Dessauvage, Henri Laurens, Amélie Lucas-Gary, Maude Maris, touche-touche, and Chloé Vernerey, to engage with dialogue with Verboom’s playful and evocative columns.
Chryséléphantine runs until 22 April 2023 at La Verrière, Boulevard de Waterloo 50, 1000 Brussel, Belgium. Check the website for opening times.