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Artists' Jewelry, From Calder to Koons

The Ideal Collection of Diane Venet


7 March – 8 July, 2018


107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

On March 7th the Musée des Art Décoratifs, located in the western wing of the Palais du Louvre, is opening an extensive show devoted to artist jewelry, highlighting the private collection of Diane Venet. Over the past three decades, Madame Venet has amassed over 230 pieces by the likes of Alexander Calder, Jeff Koons, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, Niki de Saint Phalle and Louise Bourgeois, amongst many others. Artist jewelry is a standalone genre, with close ties to costume jewelry and the visual arts; the world of artist jewelry often fosters collaboration between creative minds and mediums. With the exception of artists such Henry Bertoia, John Chamberlain, and Alexander Calder, who were known to manipulate metals themselves, fashioning unique pieces for friends and family, most of their contemporaries work closely with jewelers to produce designs in scarce editions. Said miniature artworks often echo the artist’s formal language, embodying a genesis of their craft and creations.

The upcoming show at the Musée des Art Décoratifs, which runs until early July, illustrates the work of over 150 international artists, grouped by subject and movement. The show begins with the work of artists from the early 20th century who explored portraiture in jewelry, exposing the sculptural potential of two-dimensional materials. The exhibition continues into a section of pieces by naturalists, who’s work includes contemporary depictions of nature, and into various modern and contemporary movements, such abstract art, Pop art, with pieces by Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg, the work of the Nouveaux Réalistes, such as César, miniature works of kinetic art which incorporate moveable elements, a section devoted to minimal and conceptual art, with designs by Sol Lewitt, and finally the show culminates with contemporary pieces by British artists such as Damien Hirst and the Chapman Brothers. The perfect exhibit for art and jewelry lovers alike at one of my favorite museums in all of Paris!

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