La chaise musicale


Boris Vian

La chaise musicale


Lithograph on Arches paper 160 g
30 ex
35 x 25 cm
Certificate of authenticity signed by la Cohérie Boris Vian
Lithograph sent unframed

18 in stock


Boris Vian was a writer and a musician amongst other things but he originally graduated in engineering. All his life he drew machines. Some of them were built like the famous pianocktail from L’Écume des jours and others remained imaginary like La machine à confesser published as a lithograph by Grammaj in 2019 that illustrate perfectly the link between art and technical drawing.

La chaise musicale is one of Boris Vian’s inventions that was actually created and it still sits today in Boris Vian’s office, cité Véron. He drew it and built it in 1951 to play the guitar, as standard chairs in the 50’s did not fit his height.

The triangular shape of this strong chair reminds us of cathedral framework and the rope suggests marine artisan work. On the drawing we can clearly see the star shape and acute angles.

His chair appears to us as a work on lines, very precise but also escaping reality as if they could go even further… into the magical depth of the ocean or towards the sky and the stars…

Boris Vian (10 March 1920 – 23 June 1959) was a French polymath: writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. He is best remembered today for his novels. Those published under the pseudonym Vernon Sullivan were bizarre parodies of criminal fiction, highly controversial at the time of their release.
Vian’s other fiction, published under his real name, featured a highly individual writing style with numerous made-up words, subtle wordplay and surrealistic plots. His novel L’Écume des jours (literally: “The Foam of Days”) is the best known of these works and one of the few translated into English, under the title of Froth on the Daydream.
Vian was also an important influence on the French jazz scene. He served as liaison for Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis in Paris, wrote for several French jazz-reviews (Le Jazz Hot, Paris Jazz) and published numerous articles dealing with jazz both in the United States and in France. His own music and songs enjoyed popularity during his lifetime, particularly the anti-war song Le Déserteur (The Deserter).

He also created real life inventions when he was an engineer student at l’École Centrale. His most famous imaginary machine remains the pianocktail that was meant to prepare drinks while being carried by the musicnote. Additionally he is the creator of various paintings, drawings and sketches.

Download the press release here

2020 celebrates the centenary of Boris Vian’s birth, to know more about the centenary, click here

© photos Agathe Tissier

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