Of Clay and Silk

Marie-Laure Guerrier and In-Sook Son

18 September 2019 - 19 January 2020


Marie-Laure Guerrier and In-Sook Son. These are the two contemporary creators that the Baur Foundation has chosen to bring together for a period of several months in an unprecedented encounter of ceramics and textiles. The two artists did not know one another and nothing existed to suggest that this meeting, in which interest and fascination immediately prevailed, might otherwise have occurred.

Sharing “cultural” and chromatic affinities, the two artists also have in common a similar and rare manner of experimenting with transfers of materials – ceramic, textile and paint – and the desire to explore all the possibilities offered by their respective crafts. Vibrant, dynamic and enchanting, like silk rippling with the fluidity of air, the coverings of certain pieces turned by the French artist Marie-Laure Guerrier are striking for their textile-like appearance: the elegant forms of cups and vases come to life in a succession of facets, pleats and indentations. Infused in these geographic metamorphoses is the poetry of the finest landscapes composed of thread, paint and lace together, which, from a technical standpoint, seem to push the boundaries of ceramic’s potential for expression.

To the sleek mellowness of celadons, glinting red and white glazes, and moving crystallised stoneware of the ceramicist, the artistic universe of In-Sook Son, a Korean embroiderer resident in Seoul, responds majestically. Working with the traditional materials and colours of Korea, she creates “paintings of silk” of unsettling virtuosity. In order to continue reinventing this centuries-old craft, she turned down the prestigious title of “Living National Treasure”, allowing her to persist in bringing deep renewal to the profession whose path, beaten by her ancestors, she has followed since childhood. By diversifying the colours and thicknesses of the thread, and revisiting the technique and use of embroidery stitches, such is the subtlety of her rendering of depth that she succeeds in blurring the boundaries between the arts. Screens made from thread, marquetry composed of embroidery, trompe-l’œil pojagi, the works chosen by the Baur Foundation, of which many will be leaving Korea for the first time, transcend all our references and delight the eye.

Advanced techniques, an abundance of creativity acquired through perseverance, and a constant spiritual attention regarding the aesthetic and significance of their work, these are the characteristics that unite, despite their very different contexts, these two great women artists.

Discover the exhibition with the 360° virtual tour.