The Artist as Jeweler

Jeff Koons

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

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

Lee Ufan, Untitled, 2012, sterling silver, D. Venet Collection

Salvador Dali

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

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.

x Sybil

(Images from Bass Museum of Art)

Art & Fashion. Between Skin and Clothing

Ah… Another art and fashion exhibition. Food for the soul and this time, it is in Wolfsburg, Germany.

First shown at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the exhibition has been reshaped for Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg by curators José Teunissen and Annelie Lütgens. I like that the exhibition features artworks alongside fashion items, literally. Clothing and objects by Walter Van Beirendonck, Louise Bourgeois, Hussein Chalayan, Christophe Coppens, Comme des Garçons, Salvador Dalí, Naomi Filmer, Robert Gober, Martin Margiela, Francesco Vezzoli, Viktor & Rolf, Anna-Nicole Zische, etc  will be on display.

The exhibition explores the relationship between art and fashion, its connectedness and its influence on each other. Fashion is not only a form of self expression but an avenue of expression for one’s art and culture. Similar to art making, designers express their opinions and ideas in their collection, as artists do in their artworks. Possible highlights of the exhibition include works from the 90s to the present, where designers such as Viktor & Rolf and Hussein Chalayan presented fashion shows that looked like art-installations and clothing that were works of art.


Viktor & Rolf, Maryna, The Fashion Show collection, Autumn/winter 2007-2008
( Photo: Peter Stigler, model Maryna Linchuk -DNA Models)


Walter van Beirendonck, Green Beard, eXplicit Collection Spring/summer 2009
( Photo: Ronald Stoops)

It will be fascinating to study the manifestation of wearable art; how it started, how it has evolved and perhaps even, how it will transform and revolutionize our lifestyles in future.

Art & Fashion. Between Skin and Clothing
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Hollerplatz 1, 38440 Wolfsburg, Germany
Now till 7 August 2011

X Sybil

(Images from Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg)

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