Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Portable Art Collection

This is such an affirming story of love made concrete in the form of jewelry.

Diana Venet's collection of jewelry made by artists on view at Valencian
Institute for Modern Art

My passion for artists’ jewelry was born on the day my sculptor husband,
Bernar Venet, amused himself by rolling a thin stick of silver around my left
 ring finger to make me a wedding ring!

By: Diana Venet
VALENCIA.- In my rather itinerant life, my collection of jewelry has
become an intimate museum that I can take with me everywhere, and the
treasure trove that always greets me upon my return home.

It is Jewelry, but, in my eyes, mainly Art.

And here I am proposing a different narrative about jewelry, one that is far
 from the shiny pages of glossy magazines. It is the story of various
distinguished artists, male and female, who became interested in this
adventure, inspired by love for a woman, by the challenge, or simply out
of interest in this particular medium of expression.

My passion for artists’ jewelry was born on the day my sculptor husband,
Bernar Venet, amused himself by rolling a thin stick of silver around my
 left ring finger to make me a wedding ring! This first gesture, so moving
in its spontaneity, had a far-reaching impact on me. It allowed me to discover the scarcely-known universe of such unique and precious works of art. Precious because of their rarity, but
also for the symbolic content that is often at the origin of their creation.

A piece may be created as unique or as an edition of several examples
(usually between 8 and 12), but it has often been fashioned with a particular
person in mind. Picasso collected pebbles on the beach and then painted
them as jewels for Dora Maar. He engraved the portrait of Marie Thérèse
on pieces of bones. Giacometti made buttons for his friend Elsa Schiaparelli
and then transformed them into brooches for his close friends. Frank Stella,
out of friendship, first gave me an unique titanium necklace before accepting
to work on a small edition of a spectacular gold rings. Germana Matta told
me how Roberto carefully arranged a piece of jewelry himself, around her
neck…These anecdotes show the specificity of these objects that combine
both a personal history and the history of art. The examples are many, and
these miniature works of art also give the artist the opportunity to test their
practical ability confronting unprecedented constraints.

Today, after 25 years of research and collecting, I have about 130 mini
works of art that can be worn on the wrist, the neck, or the finger. When I
select one of them from my collection for a special occasion, I am always
extremely sensitive to its closeness to me, to its intimate relation with art.
I may roll a Takis around my wrist, or see myself reflected in a Kapoor
around my neck; by wearing them, I offer them to be viewed by other people
and there is a pleasure in becoming, in a way, a torch bearer.

I now often meet women and men, collectors or dealers, who share my
interest in jewelry designed by artists. We would track a rare piece from
country to country! In London, a wealth of knowledge in the husband and
wife team of Martine and Didier Haspeslagh at Didier Antiques, and the
passion for new collaborations that can be found with Elisabetta Cipriani
and Louisa Guinness at their eponymous galleries; in Milan, the precious
help and advice of GianCarlo Montebello who worked intimately with so
many great artists: Man Ray, Fontana, Arnaldo and Gio Pomodoro, Niki
de Saint Phalle, among others; in Verona, Marina Ruggieri; or, in Paris,
Esther de Beaucé from miniMasterpiece who now works closely with
contemporary artists on small editions: Arman, Rebecca Horn, Jannis
Kounellis, Pol Bury, François Morellet and Lee Ufan, just to name a few!
Of course I could not forget the very famous and beautiful Grassy
establishment in Madrid, who have produced unique works with Antony
Caro and editions with Blanca Muñoz.

The story of the collection presented at IVAM is the result of my friendship
with many artists.

No comments:

Post a Comment