Appiglio (brooch) by Bruno Martinazzi 2003 at Ornamentum. Photography: Courtesy of Ornamentum
A timely reminder of Bruno Martinazzi’s powerful contribution to the art-jewellery movement, New York specialist Ornamentum is celebrating the Italian sculptor-jeweller’s work on what would have been his 95th birthday. Martinazzi died earlier this year, so this display becomes something of a first retrospective. Having learned goldsmithing in his home city of Turin in the post-war years, Martinazzi, a dedicated humanist who also studied psychology, used his preferred metal to sculpt powerfully symbolic jewels and larger pieces. His works wonder at the complexity of what it is to be human, physically and spiritually. While bold in form, the intellectual quality of his jewels imbues them with a surprisingly ethereal quality.
Art Deco Crystal, Nephrite, Lapis Lazuli, and Gold Box by Cartier, Paris, circa 1928 at Siegelson. Photography: Courtesy of Siegelson, New York
Jewelled objects were as highly prized in the early 20th century as high jewellery design. Cartier, in particular, was in tune with the sybaritic tastes of its worldly clientele and catered just as beautifully to men as it did to women. Siegelson, New York, the 20th century jewellery design specialist, has amassed a fine cache of the house’s early lifestyle designs, this Art Deco hard-stone and rock crystal box being a prime example.
Cacastrello by Roberto Matta 1974 at Didier Ltd. Photography: Courtesy of Didier Ltd.
Artist-jewellery, not to be confused with art-jewellery, is Didier London’s prime focus. Delightfully mixed in taste, Didier presents offbeat pieces designed across the 20th century by the likes of artists such as Calder, Klein and Giacometti, and a significant roster of named-designer works too. The emphasis at this year’s show is on South- and Latin-American artists. Even if jewellery is not a medium that preoccupies you, Didier is worth the effort of a visit because there are always brilliant surprises in store. The ‘Cacastrello’ necklace by Roberto Matta – a warped riff on a peeing bat – is a mini masterpiece of Chilean Surrealism that makes for an intriguing starting point.
Cosmos Brooch by Robert Baines 2016 at Galleria Antonella Villanova. Photography: Courtesy of Galleria Antonella Villanova
Bravo to Florence’s Galleria Antonella Villanova for bringing a solo show of Robert Baines’s work to Design Miami. His pieces are somewhat ill-served by photography because the visceral quality of his beautifully articulated forms cannot be conveyed in a 2D view. Baines is emeritus professor of gold and silversmithing at RMIT University in Melbourne and is lauded for his studies of and interest in archeological gold works. His methods confuse traditional methods and materials with industrial painting to brilliant effect. As such, Baines creates abstract stories in jewels that become ‘mythologies of our time’.
Untitled pendant by Campagna Brothers (1990). Photography: Courtesy of Didier Ltd.
With their show that focuses on South- and Latin-American artists, Didier London is displaying their dual specialism of named designer jewellery by the likes of Judd, Bury and Koppel, with pieces by Brazil’s Campagna Brothers. This pendant, with its leather necklace and multi steel ring ‘jewel’ is steeped in the Arte Povera style but with a clean form that elevates its fine lines.
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