Attai Chen, Necklace, Untitled, 2013. Image courtesy of Gallery Loupe.
This past week, Anna Kats wrote on the Artinfo websitethat the upcoming edition of Design Miami/ will have more exhibitors specializing in contemporary art jewelry than in previous years. This change is attributed to what the show’s director, Marianne Goebl, states as the show’s mission to include all areas of contemporary design: “Over the last years, Design Miami/ has gradually expanded its program of artist and studio jewelry, exploring the notion of the ‘wearable sculpture’ from the perspective of fine artists as well as designers. We now present the most relevant group of galleries specialized in historic and contemporary conceptual jewelry.” Some of the newcomer galleries include Antonella Villanova from Florence and London’s Elisabetta Cipriani, and Louisa Guinness Gallery. Design Miami/ staple Ornamentum Gallery from Hudson, NY will return.
However you do not need to wait until December to see the latest in contemporary art jewelry. This weekend Gallery Loupe in Montclair, New Jersey is debuting the work of Israeli-artist Attai Chen.
Chen has been an important presence in the contemporary art jewelry world over the last several years. He was the recipient of the important Herbert Hofmann Prize at the Schmuck Art Fair in Munich in 2011 and was recently awarded the 2014 Andrea M. Bronfman Prize for the Arts for which he will be given a solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum and an accompanying catalog.
His body of work “Compound Fraction”, featuring neckpieces and brooches made of ripped scraps of recycled paper is inspired by his observations of nature and his fascination with decay. Chen makes the paper “his own” by including personal notes and drawings onto the paper before he alters it. In the artist’s words, “The process of recycling follows the pattern of growth, culmination, consummation and decay, only to begin again. It is my intention in these works to trace and create forms that capture this organic process in a man-made world.” I had the opportunity to visit Chen’s studio in Munich and wrote about his technique here.
Finally, if you want to learn more about what a rich and fascinating field contemporary art jewelry is without leaving the comfort of your home, the Art Jewelry Forum has recently published “Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective”. Lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book, I knew immediately that it would change the face of the field. Edited by curator and scholar, Damian Skinner, “Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective” features essays from 18 world-renowned specialists. Skinner divided the book into three sections: the first one defines the field and analyzes the “spaces” – the body, the plinth, the page- that art jewelry inhibits, the second section analyzes art jewelry’s origins and examines its presence globally, while the third section focuses on present-day issues in art jewelry- for example, one essays deals with contemporary jewelry versus commercial jewelry.
The Art Jewelry Forum has organized an extensive Speakers Tour (lectures, receptions, presentations) across the United States. As of now they have only listed the east coast dates which you can find on their website. West coast locations and dates will be announced shortly.