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Amphore Métaphore | By Baldwin & Guggisberg at Cromwell Place

1st March - 11th March 2023

Vessel Gallery presents Amphore Métaphore, the second instalment and selected edit of the prestigious solo exhibition by Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, who are among the foremost international artists working in glass.

For its reopening to the public in 2022, perfectly coinciding with the United Nations’ Year of Glass, the new Musée du Verre de Conches invited the artists to exhibit, giving them creative carte blanche, for the museum’s inaugural exhibition. Their response, was to examine the ancestral significance of the ‘amphora’.

The resulting installations created explore the artists' ongoing fascination with this humble object and its history. Each reveal not just Baldwin & Guggisberg’s sense of awe at the vessel's beauty – together with its perfect marriage of form and function – but also a provenance far more ancient than they had previously imagined. Their journey takes us back an astonishing 20,000 years, during which they asked us to reflect on the fact that this simple jar with its gentle curves and characteristic pointed bottom, appears to be a form so innate to humans that it recurs again and again across millennia and different cultures, from China to India and Siberia to the Levant.

Highlighting such a timeless but often overlooked constant companion of human evolution prompts much consideration, why should it be that this simple vase and its pointed shape, should inform both our history and, more subtly, our present.

Philip Baldwin (b. 1947, New York) and Monica Guggisberg (b. 1955, Bern, Switzerland) have been working as a team since 1980 and established their first studio two years later in Switzerland, before moving to Paris in 2001. Since 2015 they have been based in rural Wales, enjoying a view over the hills – a third act in a long, nomadic journey. Their work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions, including at Ebeltoft Glass Museum (Walking in the Void, 2020), Canterbury Cathedral, UK (Under an Equal Sky, 2018), Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany (2012), the Musée Ariana in Geneva, Switzerland (Au-delà du verre, 2011) and Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv (2001).

Their work is installed in public and private spaces throughout Europe and the US, and is represented in collections around the world.

Amphore Métaphore
1st - 11th March | Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm | Sunday 10am to 4pm
Cromwell Place, Gallery 12, 4 Cromwell Place, London, SW7 2JE
Amphore Métaphore | A film by Baldwin & Guggisberg
Exhibition Catalogue