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Subtle Distinctions

Barbier Mueller
ABOVE: Origine/L’ombre d’un doute by Jacques Kaufmann (2021, 53,5 x 53,5 cm) next to a Neolithic Anatolian figure néolithique anatolienne in limestone (4200-3700 BC, H. 23,5 cm). Musée Barbier-Mueller, photo Luis Lourenço.


GENEVA—On March 30, 2022, the Barbier-Mueller Museum opened an exhibition that plays upon aesthetic similarities—a theme for which it has become well known.

This time, ceramics are the order of the day, and Écarts et correspondances  (Subtle Distinctions and Connections) is built upon comparisons, primarily formal but also conceptual, between artworks selected from the private Genevan institution’s famous collection of antiquities and non-European art and works by ceramic artist Jacques Kaufmann that represent the different stages of his career.

The show invites its visitors to question the suggested relationships and to enhance them by creating their own correspondences. Beyond differences in terms of their geographical, cultural, and chronological origins and in terms of their contemplative or ritual functions, the show highlights how, in art, forms are reactivated, and how these support and echo one another as they illustrate the same need that has motivated man since the dawn of time: to respond to both his secular and his spiritual needs through the creation of artworks.  

Accompanied by a catalog and on display through October 2nd, Écarts et correspondances is part of the program of the 50th Congress of the International Academy of Ceramics (AIC) organized by Swissceramics, which will be held at the International Convention Center in ­Geneva September 12–16, 2022. It is titled Melting Pot: From the Alchemical Melting Pot to the Cultural One. Thirty-five other exhibitions from various museums and partner galleries in French-speaking ­Switzerland also will be part of this event.




Écarts et correspondances (Subtle Distinctions and Connections) 

Until October 2, 2022

Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva



Barbier Mueller

ABOVE: Origine-pli by Jacques Kaufmann (2021, H. 10,5 cm) next to a vessel in the shape of a women,from the Trujillo in Venezuela (1000 BC – 300 AD, H. 21 cm). Musée Barbier-Mueller, photo Luis Lourenço.

Barbier Mueller

ABOVE: A Punuk figure from Alaska (500-1200 AD, marine ivory, H. 20,3 cm) and two Cycladic figures in marble (IIIe millenium BC, H. 25,5 cm and 18,5 cm) in front of the Nombril by Jacques Kaufmann (2021, 54,5 x 54,5 cm). Musée Barbier-Mueller, photo Luis Lourenço.

Barbier Mueller

ABOVE: The works Animal and Brique au pétard by Jacques Kaufmann (2018, L. 29 cm, 18,5 cm, 20 cm) next to a limestone pipe from Indiana, Late Woodlands or Mississippi (H. 12 cm) and a small Colima rock mask from Mexico (c. 100 BC – 250 AD., H. 9,8 cm). Musée Barbier-Mueller, photo Luis Lourenço.

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