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After the revolution, jewellery without boundaries Jewellery in The Netherlands since 1990.

Article  /  ArtistsDebatesReview
Published: 26.01.2006
After the revolution, jewellery without boundaries Jewellery in The Netherlands since 1990..
Author:
Liesbeth den Besten
Edited by:
Caixaforum
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2003

Intro
In the sixties Dutch jewellery changed radically, due to the appearance of a generation of young goldsmiths.
In the sixties Dutch jewellery changed radically, due to the appearance of a generation of young goldsmiths. As a result of their wish to make new jewellery for a new audience, Gijs Bakker, Emmy van Leersum, Françoise van den Bosch and others made jewellery that looked industrial. Jewellery changed from an insubordinate accessory into an autonomous object. ‘Less is more’, the style which was inspired by art movements and other developments (space travel) of the moment, became a dogma. It took the Dutch jewellers ‘ages’ to shake it of. At the end of the eighties things began to change hesitantly. In the nineties these changes were articulated more clearly.

Still, the heritage of the sixties in the Netherlands is obvious even today: firstly, in the general acceptance of the object, and secondly, in the reaction to the ‘less is more’ dogma, which is replaced by the idea of ‘more is not enough’. At the moment, Dutch jewellers use many different materials, decorations, colour, and a lot of handiwork (even knitting and embroidery).

The jewellery maker has become an inhabitant of the border area between art and craft: he can choose whatever he wants from both areas, and from all disciplines. He refuses the decorative and subordinate character of jewellery.
Dutch jewellers prefer to follow the arts, they are not really interested in the outside world, in new technologies and in the market. Dutch jewellery has become an introspective, even introvert, art discipline.

The danger is that of creating bastards, not really art, not functional (wearable) at all – not able to walk, nor talk. The good thing is that there is more diversity, such as conceptual,narrative and body focused tendencies, than ever before in the forty years of history of modern jewellery in The Netherlands.

© Liesbeth den Besten

Lecture at Caixaforum in the cicle: Contemporary jewellery: Ornaments, mascots and other devices.
Coordination: Mònica Gaspar, design historian and independent curator
Saturday, September, 27th of 2003
 

About the author

Liesbeth den Besten, design historian, free-lance curator and chairwoman of the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation, Amsterdam.
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