In 2013, Cartier and the FondationCartier pour l’Art contemporain presented 'Le Visage Archaïque', a stunning collection of unique high jewellery creations illuminating the imagined contours of one of Paris' most prestigious streets, the rue de la Paix, and in particular, number 13: the historic address of the Maison Cartier.
Strolling down this reinvented street, visitors were able to marvel at the jewels nestling in showcases and discover, at a series of exclusive salons, the design and manufacturing secrets that make Cartier unique.
The exhibition was pulled together by Alessandro Mendini's Le Visage Archaïque, emerging and rising up like a monument from the heart of a central square. Dated 2002, the work formed part of the FondationCartier pour l’Art contemporain collection. The gold mosaic endows the work with an aura of sacredness, in which the face is immediately recognised as a divine figure. On its neck, the same image is multiplied threefold on a much smaller scale in the form of three precious pendants, which the Cartier workshops created in gold at the artist's request in 2002. The role of these objects is kept deliberately ambiguous–somewhere between jewellery and votive offerings–in what remains an unanswered question.