In the news

20 12 2011

In a story in The Australian “Big names turn their attention to bling, reviving a precious connection” [link; 16th December 2011] there were a number of interesting statements:

  • Contemporary artists are increasingly turning their talents to jewellery-making …. “It’s a growing trend,” says Louisa Guinness, the founder and creative director of London’s Louisa Guinness Gallery, which specialises in the sale of what it describes as “wearable sculpture”.
  • The skills of the fine artist and the sophisticated craftsmanship of the jeweller share their early history. It was only in the 16th century that the two disciplines came to be viewed separately. With the Renaissance, the painter and sculptor were elevated to a loftier aesthetic sphere, leaving the goldsmith behind in his artisanal workshop.
  • The idea that a piece of jewellery can also be an original artistic creation is increasingly finding a fresh currency.
  • Like art, jewellery can convey the social, political or economic climate of its era. It can speak of the human condition…. But with the 20th century a succession of cultural movements — art nouveau, art deco, arts and crafts, the Viennese secession, bauhaus — gave fine arts and craftsmanship equal weight.
  • “I see artists’ jewellery as sculptures in miniature,” says Guinness. Each piece of jewellery is signed, numbered and editioned. They are treated as artworks. “Ninety-five per cent of the people who buy these things are in fact art collectors,” Guinness says.

Some of the artists / exhibitions / galleries mentioned include:

  • Last month Jack du Rose, the designer of Hirst’s diamond skull, launched his debut collection, Danger.“; unfortunately I couldn’t find a website for him, though this post has lots of images of the pieces (and a google search shows a lot of recent articles)
  • The Shizaru gallery in London’s Mayfair is staging Art Rocks, a show in which the work of such jewellers as Sevan Bicakci, who carves miniature cityscapes inside faceted gemstones, are displayed in a gallery context. …. Their creators are concerned with the same sorts of issues as sculptors.“; the gallery website has some more information about this exhibition here
  • And it’s easy to see the erotic confections of such contributors as Sophia Mann, who began her career as a fine artist, as the jeweller’s answer to Tracey Emin.“; see Sophia’s website
  • The story of modern art jewellery began. This is the story that is being told in Picasso to Koons, an exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Based around the collection of Diane Venet.“; Diane Venet’s site is here (so many pieces!), and the Museum link here

Some interesting links to explore… and some points to think about …


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