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From Calder to Koons, artist jewelry from a collection by Diane Venet

fashion & stylenews

6 December
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Diane Venet, wife of the sculptor Bernar Venet, remembers the origin of her collection which became a reference: "My passion for the jewel of art was born the day Bernar had fun wrapping around my left ring finger a thin silver wand to make an alliance ... This gesture, touching in its spontaneity had another effect on me, that of me to discover the little known universe of these unique art jewels, precious for their rarity and their symbolic burden often at the origin of their creation. What is the particularity of an artist's jewel? Wearing such a jewel is not an innocuous act. It is appropriating in a way a little of the genius of the artist who created it and magnify it in a new life. Object of curiosity, subject of conversation, it reveals in the one who wears it a desire of singularity. He does not belong to the world of high jewelry, nor that of the fantasy jewel, nor even that of the parures, appeared at the instigation of Elsa Schiaparelli or Gabrielle Chanel.

The jewel of the artist is also not associated with the independent creators of the contemporary jewel who conceive as much as they realize, and consider the object as a field of expression in its own right. A gesture of affection, often designed for a loved one, it is the work of visual artists, painters or sculptors for whom this practice is occasional, often inherent to their mode of creation. Few artists make their own jewelery. Harry Bertoia, John Chamberlain, Louise Nevelson, Claude Viallat, or Alexander Calder stand out as an exception, the latter transforming the smallest wire of copper, gold or silver into adornments for his relatives. The jewels of artists fashioned in traditional materials: gold, silver, bronze, enamel have been made for the most part by goldsmiths.

 

The workshop of François Hugo highlights his work which consists of transcribing into brooches and pendants the carvings of Jean Arp, the Cretans of Derain or the fantasy of Dorothea Tanning. Not to mention the studio of Giancarlo Montebello in Milan, which has published the most famous: the Pomodoro brothers, Man Ray, Pol Bury, or the Surrealist Museum, Meret Oppenheim, then Niki de Saint Phalle. The avant-garde artists open the course with the representation of "Portrait". Picasso, fascinated by the sculptural potential of two-dimensional materials, grasps this theme with a great economy. Derain translates his admiration for Benin into his "jeweled" bronze heads. The provocative ideas of the Surrealists are evoked under the title "Dream and fantasy" with the perforated mask of Man Ray, the jewels of Salvador Dalí, the dreamlike world of Jean Cocteau or Léonor Fini. The exhibition continues with a more transversal and resolutely contemporary vision of the jewel around the "Metamorphoses of nature". This naturalist vein expresses itself with Lowell Nesbitt who treats the subject of the flower in a monumental way to overcome its beauty or Giuseppe Penone with the imprint of his hand on a gold leaf.

 

The "Memento mori" is evoked with Wim Delvoye, who questions the religious in his Moebius ring-shaped crucifix pendants. "The Color" is illustrated by Grayson Perry who transposes in jewelery and ceramics his female avatars. As for Niki de Saint Phalle, she translates the strong and playful image of her famous Nanas to the scale of the jewel. Talking about the jewel is also evoking the "Constrained Body" with the oversized wool necklace of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, or the Orlan brooch that transcends the codes of beauty by referring to the series of Self hybridization . The great modern and contemporary movements are also represented. Abstract Art is illustrated by the poetic world of Fausto Melotti and the lacerated monochrome surfaces of Lucio Fontana, displayed on his bracelets. Pop Art, from Roy Lichtenstein to Robert Rauchenberg, portrays with humor and irony "The American way of life". The New Realists, Caesar and Arman, borrowed the symbols of consumption in the form of compressions and accumulations. Pol Bury evokes Kinetic Art with the insertion of moving elements in his jewelry. Takis formulates original proposals on magnetism. Minimalist and conceptual art is summoned with Sol LeWitt's unique rings made for his daughters.

Finally, the timeless art of Pierrette Bloch duplicates her motifs to infinity. The exhibition ends with a very active English contemporary scene, the Young British Artists, like Damien Hirst or the Chapman brothers, artists and great provocateurs appeared in the 1990s. She is also international with the jewels of Erwin Wurm or Ai Weiwei. The French scene is represented by Claude Lévêque or Jean-Luc Moulène who, at the request of Diane Venet, made some unusual jewelery. Non-exhaustive, subjective and poetic, dictated by the impulses of the heart, tbis exhibition is the image of the Decoratif Arts Museum and of Diane Venet.