Shaped like a black nest, the fireplace hangs from the ceiling of the exhibition space. The benches placed around it invite the public to take a seat, reminding visitors that the space is not solely devoted to displaying objects but is also a convivial place meant for use by one and all. The fireplace is detachable and is not a permanent fixture of the room. But because the hearth remains in place, it can stay empty or welcome other fireplaces depending on the needs of an exhibition.
Xavier Veilhan was born in 1963 in Lyon. The artist studied at the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Paris, then did graduate studies at the Hochschule der Künste, the University of Arts, in Berlin, working in Georg Baselitz’s studio. Veilhan completed his art studies in 1989 at the Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques in Paris, where he decided to settle. His polymorphous work has played out in a range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, painting, photography, performance, and film. Xavier Veilhan is considered a major artist on the contemporary French art scene and has exhibited in many of the most important institutions around the world. In 2017 the artist represented France at the 61st Venice Biennale.