Basel, Fondation Beyeler


This exhibition creates a vibrant dialogue between African and Oceanic sculptures that are juxtaposed with European works by masters such as Monet, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Giacometti. Some of the sculptures from Africa and Oceania are from Ernst Beyeler's museum collection, and a further 180 pieces have been loaned from public and private collections. All the European paintings, plus a few sculptures, belong to the Fondation Beyeler.

The conversation between the works gives a fresh, interesting reading. Each of the 13 exhibition spaces is devoted to an African or Oceanic culture, which sees these sculptures confronting Modernist paintings. Senufo sculptures from Africa stand before two portraits by C├ęzanne; ancestor images of the Mundugumor of New Guinea are shown next to Picasso's paintings of seated women from the 1930s and early 1940s. Abstract figures of the Nukuoro Atoll in Micronesia are juxtaposed with a painting by Rousseau and Brancusi's "Bird" sculpture. In this way, the show indicates the importance of art from Africa and Oceania to the history of world art.


January 25 through May 24, 2009
101 Baselstrasse
CH-4125 Riehen / Basel
T. +41 (0)61 645 97 00