Herstelde Stoel [Reconstructed Chair]

Pieter Engels


Sculpture, 84 x 45 x 44 cm.

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0449).

Since the sixties, the hugely varied oeuvre of Pieter Engels – ranging from sculpture through film and photography and installations to printed matter – has played a unique part in the art world. Engels does not present himself as a traditional artist, but as the director of the EPO (Engels Product Organisation), which was founded in 1964. This organisation was publicised by means of leaflets, posters and flyers, always with advertising-style writing to attract the public. Another, earlier activity of the EPO was making repaired furniture. Deconstructed Chair is one example. A kitchen chair was sawn into several pieces, which were then re-attached to each other with hinges, and the whole thing was sprayed with silver paint. In this way Engels succeeded, by simple means, in transforming an everyday object into an odd but attractive work. On the other hand the chair has a certain helplessness to it. Deconstruction is a theme in of all Pieter Engels’s work. Again and again he tries to undermine and break down the existing order and put it back together in a way that gives rise to something never previously seen. The whole of his work is in fact a deconstruction of everyday reality. Engels undermines certainties with a sense of humour and cynicism and opens up events in art and the world to discussion.

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