Margret Eicher, Das Urteil des Paris 3, 2012, Digital Collage, Jacquard, 285 x 445 cm, Installation view at Villa Empain
Portrait of a Lady
24 March—4 September 2022
Boghossian Foundation Villa Empain,
Through a series of artworks, Portrait of a Lady illustrates the various forms of representation of women from prehistoric times to today, as well as the more specific journeys of a few exceptional women. Grouping a selection of ancient and contemporary pieces, the exhibition will establish a dialogue between different cultures and civilizations from the East and the West.
Portrait of a Lady brings together eighty-five works by major artists around this recurring motif and its variations. Covering artistic creation from the Palaeolithic era to contemporary art, the exhibition invites the public to explore the feelings and universal representations that the female portrait inspires.
In "Das Urteil des Paris 3“ rather than illustrating the ancient myth of Paris, the tapestry is merely inspired by ist narrative of desire, rivalry, and refusal. The scene has been transplanted to the subcultural Berlin club Tacheles, thereby underscoring the suspension of normative social and sexual boundaries.
Classical mythology likewise plays with these boundaries. In the wellknown episode, the young Paris has to decide which one of three goddesses Aphrodite, Athena, or Herais the most beautiful, a configuration which has given rise to countless artistic interpretations from the Renaissance to Expressionism.
According to the myth, the women subject themselves to the man’s judgment, empowering him as a decision-maker in a gesture that still resonates today. The present scene opposes this framework through relaxed androgyny.