From the Portable Art Project in New York to the most influencing art galleries in London. Let’s understand something more about art jewelry
On 20 April 2017, Hauser & Wirth debuted its Portable Art Project with an exhibition of wearable objects commissioned from fifteen artists. Featuring works that exist somewhere between sculpture and bodily adornment, Portable Art Project is just one of the latest example proving the ‘Elective Affinity’ between art and jewelry, but how is evolving this special relationship?
We spoke with Louisa Guinness and Elisabetta Cipriani, founders of two London based jewelry galleries, to understand how visual arts collide with precious materials, matching renewed demand from global collectors.
In conversation with Louisa Guinness
How has the art jewelry world evolved in recent years?
It was originally a big market in the Sixties and Seventies. I opened my gallery in 2003 and in the years since, artists’ jewelry has bounced back. Today, interest is exploding, especially in Europe and the US.
Which of your projects have you personally enjoyed?
While it wasn’t a collaboration, I really enjoyed The Boldness of Calder exhibition in 2016 for its historical aspect. Right now I am working with Anish Kapoor on fantastic designs that play with light, while British sculptor Alan Jones is creating jewelry that combines gold with perspex.
We understand Victoria Beckham featured pieces from the Gallery on her Fall 2017 runway?
Yes, she visited our gallery in London and selected jade and lapis lazuli brooches by British sculptor Emily Young. Victoria is a positive advocate of British artists, and supports the gallery as a business run by women. There has been a major change this year — the fashion world is now approaching artists to create jewelry.
How do you begin the process of a jewelry collaboration?
It actually takes more time than most artists realize, sometimes two years, so I explain this first. From there, it’s about working on ideas and designs together. If the artist isn’t used to working on a smaller scale they can find it difficult. I always encourage them to relate back to their design signature.
Working with artists, do you explore alternative materials or techniques?
The artists don’t tend to make the pieces themselves. Instead, we often work with The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London, producing 3D prints of designs to get an idea of scale and shape. We have also used laser sintering to print jewelry directly in 18-carat gold.
Can you share any of your upcoming projects?
Alongside Alan Jones and Anish Kapoor, I am also working on some jewelry designs with mechanical and scientific sculptor Conrad Shawcross. I have two or three other great artists that I am collaborating with, so watch this space.