April 15, 2013 Leave a comment
Jeff Koons, Rabbit Necklace, 2005-2009, platinum, 3 in pendant / 29 in chain, D. Venet Collection
Something unexpected has happened. Artists like Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor, who are renowned for their monumental works, have turned their attention to jewelry, small intricate accessories that I’m sure all of us want to bring home. Bass Museum of Art’s current exhibition showcases some 200 jewelry pieces by 135 artists. These wearable artworks belong to collector Diane Venet who became fascinated when her then husband, sculptor Bernar Venet, rolled a thin piece of silver around her finger to form a wedding ring. Since then, she has acquired jewels made by artists, as well as commissioned pieces by Kader Attia, John Chamberlain, Wim Delvoye, Orlan, and Frank Stella.
While building her collection, she explained, “I’m careful to ask only those artists whom I think will find the request challenging and fun. It’s important they recognize that the jewel should be seen as an extension of their art-making.”
Nam June Paik, Sense Amplifier – Inhibit Driver, 2012, necklace, mixed metals and plastic, 35 cm x 11.5 cm (with chain); 13.5 x 11.5 cm (pendant), N. Seroussi Collection
Lee Ufan, Untitled, 2012, sterling silver, D. Venet Collection
Salvador Dalí, Cuillére avec montre-peigne (spoon with comb), 1957, brooch, gold, midnight blue enamel, 11.2 x 2.5 cm, D. Venet Collection
The jewelry on display are exceptional and little-known pieces by famous artists such as Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, Georges Braque, Louise Bourgeois, Lucio Fontana, Salvador Dalí, Louise Nevelson, Man Ray, Anthony Caro, and Yoko Ono. Often conceived for a friend or a loved one, several of these jewelry pieces reveal a surprising tenderness about these well-known artists. These wearable sculptures are presented in three categories – the Early Masters, Representational, and Abstraction – with sections devoted to the human figure, nature, Pop subjects, words, geometry, and new technologies and materials.
Roy Lichtenstein, Modern Head, 1968, brooch, enamel on metal, 7.8 x 5.8 cm, D. Venet Collection
Located at 2100 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, the Bass Museum of Art is open from 12 noon to 5 pm, Wednesdays to Sundays.
(Images from Bass Museum of Art)