Monday, September 26, 2011

Jill Krementz covers Picasso to Koons at MAD

Outside wall of The Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle.
Picasso to Koons: Artist as Jeweler
An Exhibition of Wearable Sculpture
September 20th, 2011 to January 8, 2012

Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle

The exceptional and not very well-known works of “wearable sculpture” by a variety of artists ranging from Picasso to Koons is on display at the MAD Museum. Among the 135 artists on display are Louise Nevelson, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Anthony Caro, Max Ernst, John Chamberlain, Donald Sultan, Arman, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, George Rickey, Jaume Plensa, Nam June Paik, and Andy Warhol. There are pendants, brooches, cuff links, belts, headpieces, rings, and even a wristwatch by Mr. Warhol.

The exhibition was put together by Diane Venet, a former radio and television journalist from France. I’m guessing you will want to buy the excellent catalogue, The Artist as Jeweler, that accompanies the show. It’s $70 and is fully illustrated (240 pages) with essays by Adrien Goetz and Barbara Rose.

While you are at the museum, you might want to treat yourself to lunch at its restaurant, Robert. Everyone’s raving about it. Wear your fancy bijoux or don a whimsical tiara.
Diane Venet and her husband, Bernar Venet. Ms. Venet curated MAD's exhibition, Picasso to Koons.

"Forty years ago Bernar twisted a thin piece of silver wire around my finger as an engagement ring and I have been passionate about artist's jewelry
ever since."
Dorothy Twining Globus, who helped curate the show. Before Ms. Globus became Curator of Exhibitions at MAD, she was the chief curator at Cooper Hewitt and before that
at FIT.
David McFadden, Chief Curator at MAD. Holly Hotchner, the Director of MAD, with her husband, Franklin Silverstone. Asked what he did, he replied, "I keep Holly happy."

Mr. Silverstone, in addition to keeping his wife cheerful, is the curator for Charles Bronfman.
Marc Benda and Barbara Tober.

Barbara Tober is the Chairman of the Global Initiative for MAD. Moreover, it is her passion that drives the museum.

"Eight years ago my husband and I were visiting Diane Venet and her husband in France. Diane said, 'I have a dream. I want to organize a show of jewelry by all the important artists of the 20th century.' And so now you can see over 200 pieces of jewelry by 20th-century artists. Her dream has been realized."

Mr. Benda has a gallery in New York. He has a lot of pieces by Kenny Scharf and Louise Nevelson.

"If somebody is a great artist, they can make a huge sculpture of a tiny ring."
Prior to the opening night reception for invited guests, there was a conversation with Guest Curator Diane Venet and the featured collectors.

From left to right: Marc Benda, Elisabetta Cipriani, Louisa Guinness, Diane Venet, and Martine and Didier Haspeslagh.
The house was packed.
Elisabetta Cipriani. Louisa Guinness.
Charles Meyer, who has a master's in art history, asked Martine Haspeslagh if the earrings she was wearing were by the sculptor George Rickey. She replied that indeed they were. Martine Haspeslagh.
Ms. Haspeslagh's bracelet.
Following the conversation, and before the reception:

Elisabetta Cipriani, Louisa Guinness, Diane Venet, and Martine and Didier Haspeslagh. Marc Benda had vanished temporarily.
Pablo Picasso
Jeff Koons
Rabbit Necklace
Pendant, Platinum
11/50 edition for Stella McCartney

In 2005 Jeff Koons reappropriated the symbolic figure of the rabbit in his production of fifty white-gold pendants for Stella McCartney with the Sonnabend Gallery.
Georges Braque
Asteria, 1963
Brooch, 18-carat gold and emerald eye
Leonor Fini
Tiara: Sujet en or
18-carat gold

Self-taught, inspired by her own imaginary museum, Leonor Fini expressed herself in compositions close to the surrealism of Max Ernst, Georges Bataille, Max Jacob, and Salvador Dalí.

This necklace reuses the motif of horns that she had notably used in the engraving Cat with Horns, and as you can see in photograph below, the necklace can be worn as a tiara.
Leonor Fini.
Noma Copley
Necklace Necktie
c. 1969
Alexander Calder
Necklace, 1935
Brass Wire

The American artist Alexander Calder was a prolific maker of jewelry. His output of almost 1,800 pieces is characterized by recurring spiral shapes that symbolize eternity, and the use of copper, brass, gilded bronze, and occasionally silver.

Many a lucky hostess who invited him to dinner was the recipient of one of his unique pieces. That's my kind
of guest.
Richard Tuttle
Necklace, 1995
Amber, gold, coral, jade, jet, platinum
Bernar Venet
Random combination of Indeterminate Lines, 1992
Frank Stella
Gold paint on metal
Louise Bourgeois
Brooch, Gold spider, 1996
Anthony Caro
Pendant BB I
Louise Nevelson
Pendants, 1985-1986
Painted wood, metal
Nurit Einik, Assistant Curator of MAD.
Salvador Dalí
Brooch, Ruby Lips, c. 1940s
Gold, rubies, cultured pearls
Man Ray
Necklace: La Jolie
Gold, lapis lazuli, gold wire
Man Ray
Mask: Optic Topic

The surrealists loved anagrams. Did you spot Man Ray's?
Man Ray
Pendant, 1972
Louisa Guinness wore a necklace and a ring by
Anish Kapoor.
Bernar Venet and Barbara Tober.
Charles Meyer is a film critic for a website
called Cinespect.
Gail Karr is in charge of advertising sales for
New York Social Diary.
Claude Lalanne
Headpiece, Chapeau Papillons, 1972
Galvanized copper
The Blackstone Group's
Stephen Schwarzman.
Christine Schwarzman wearing Claude Lalanne.

"I'm a collector of Lalanne, both the jewelry and
the sculpture."

Readers of NYSD might recall that I covered the beautiful Lalanne sculptures exhibited last year on the medians of Park Avenue.
Detail of Ms. Schwarzman's Claude Lalanne necklace.
Inclusion, c. 1960s

Arman was the son of an antiques dealer and his "accumulations" were a kind of archeology of the modern world, demonstrating his passion for the objects he collected, objects he often destroyed before bringing them back to life.

In the mid-1960s, during an illness which confined him to bed, Arman began making jewelry using elements from watchmaking and small wooden musical instruments.
Belt: Ceinture aux violons, 1987

In its originality and its innovative relationship with the real world, the work of the artist Arman is in harmony with the artistic current of the second half of the 20th century. At the instigation of the art critic Pierre Restany, Arman joined the New Realism movement in 1960, during the first exhibition of the group in Milan: Yves Klein, Jacques de la Villegle, Jean Tinguely, and Raymond Hains.
Corice Arman is the widow of the artist Arman. She is wearing a necklace and a bracelet designed by her late husband.

"The belt on display used to fit around my waist. Now, unfortunately, I wear it around my neck."
Philippe Arman, the 24-year-old son of Arman, is a musician who plays "friendly rock." He's looking very cool with a feather in his hat and highlights on the tips of his dreadlocks.
Diane Ackerman and Ralph Destino. Ms. Ackerman, who is wearing a necklace by Fluxus artist Alice Hutchins, is an art dealer. Mr. Destino is the retired Chairman of Cartier. Stephanie Labeille-Sczyrba and Vicky Tam. Ms. Tam is having a baby boy in three months. She is the High Jewelry Sales Director for David Yurman.
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Necklace, Cast of Her Own Hand

When Magdalena Abakanowicz created the necklace Cast of Her Own Hand, she selected a limb, in this case a hand, an image that she had previously used in several bronze sculptures, such as The Hand (2001). This unique example, created in aluminum, is the molding of one part of the body holding onto another, with folded up fingers reminscent of a door-knocker.
Arne Quinze
My Safe View, 2010
Wood, paint, electric wire

For Arne Quinze, in art "borders are there to be crossed." And this is what he proved in 2010 with his first incursion into the world of adornment. Making a unique piece of jewelry for the head called My Safe View, he showed that by using materials of preference, namely wood painted red and electrical wires, he was able to transform his originality into a different sphere.
Donald Sultan
New York Survival, 2008
Cigarettes and matches

In 2008, Donald Sultan designed the necklace, New York Survival, made up of cigarettes and matches. The motif of the Cigarette is recurrent in his work. He used it notably in his 1980s' painting Cigarette, and again in 1997 for a gouache on paper entitled Three Cigarettes.
John Chamberlain
Untitled, 1998
Paint and aluminum

Since 1957, John Chamberlain has marked the art world with his large, angular sculptures built from discarded elements of automobile bodies that have been compressed and welded. During the 1960s he integrated into his work other materials such as Plexiglas, brown bags, aluminum foil, galvanized metals, and sprayed automobile paint.

Mr. Chamberlain created his first pieces of jewelry in the early 1960s, making several unique brooches out of painted aluminum. Their uneven profiles bring to mind the distortions of his large-format sculptures.
Marina Filippini was wearing an amazing ring which lit up in bright green neon at intervals and flashed numbers on it.
Lynda Benglis
Brooch, date unknown
Jaume Plensa
Necklace: One Thought Fills Immensity
Gilded silver

Plensa, born in Spain in 1955, is one of my favorite artists. His sculptures are seemingly everywhere, including The Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park and in New York's Madison Square Park.
James Brown
California Sea Shells
Nam June Paik
Pendant, 1980
Metal, resin
Lucas Samaras
Necklace #4, 1996-1998
Roy Lichtenstein
Pendant, 1965
Enamel, metal

In the 1960s, Roy Lichtenstein, a quintessential Pop artist, took inspiration from comic strips and advertising in trademark works composed of a multitude of small, colored circles painted with stencil and known as Benday dots.

This teardrop pendant reuses the tear and profile of the blonde who appears in one of the artist's canvasses, Crying Girl.
Andy Warhol
Steel, photographs
Detail of Andy Warhol's watch.
Robert Indiana
Ring: Love, 1967

As Bob Indiana told his friend Bill Katz who owns this piece:

"The reason so many artists have come from Indiana is because they had to find a way to get out."
Klara and Larry Silverstein. Mr. Silverstein told me has been down at the World Trade Center every day for the last ten years. Mrs. Silverstein is a board member of the museum. Patricia Pastor and gallerist Barry Friedman. Ms. Pastor is wearing a Calder pin. Mr. Friedman and Marc Benda own the Friedman Binder Gallery in Chelsea.
Marc Quinn
Frozen Strawberry, 2007
18-carat gold with yellow diamonds

A member of the group of Young British Artists supported by the collector Charles Saatchi, Marc Quinn, who came to public attention in the 1990s, does not hesitate to use provocation in his works. In 1991, he presented Self, a model of his head filled with his own frozen blood.

In 2007, he created for his wife a pendant representing a frozen strawberry. To indicate its immutability, and at the same time recreate the petrified aspect of the ice-cold fruit, he chose to inlay hundreds of diamonds on a gold base in the shape of a strawberry. For him, a diamond is an important metaphor because it's made of carbon, as is a human being. However, the diamond always remains ice-cold and timeless.
René Magritte
Brooch: Le Prêtre marié, 1990
Gold, diamonds
Max Ernst
A selection of brooches and pendants
Pablo Gargallo
Brooch-Mask, 1990 (design 1935)
George Rickey
Earrings, stand, c. 1970

These are the earrings you saw earlier on Martine Haspeslagh. But as you can see, when they are removed from the ears and placed on the stand, they become a piece of sculpture.
Artist Julia Chiang. Francoise Pourcel, a music publisher. Ms. Pourcel bought her necklace in England.
Amy Krafft, special events associate. Linda Fischbach, an art patron, had dropped by MAD to pick up a beaded sheep constructed from street wires that she had purchased from a local artisan in Capetown. Ms. Fischbach bought the work for about $250 when she visited South Africa on a trip organized by the museum earlier in the year and arranged shipment to NYC. Assisting her is Alan Yamahata, who works at MAD and is head of fundraising.
The evening was underwritten by Godiva.
Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.