- Sakurako Shimizu
- Edited at:
- New York
- Edited on:
Is jewelry an art form? ‘Jewelry’ is no doubt a confusing term. Simple words like ‘ornament’, ‘design’ and ‘craft’ all seem to fail in describing this highly hybrid discipline.
Text for the group exhibition
"People Don’t Care About Ideas, They Just Like Cool Objects"
curated by Sakurako Shimizu.
Is jewelry an art form? ‘Jewelry’ is no doubt a confusing term. Simple words like ‘ornament’, ‘design’ and ‘craft’ all seem to fail in describing this highly hybrid discipline. In fact it is the conceptual content that is becoming more and more the focus of contemporary work in the field. Traditionally a symbol of status, social identity and embodiment of monetary value, jewelry has also served commemorative and amuletic functions. It operated within the discourse of formal design, taste, and precious material.
Creative jewelry or so called studio jewelry started in the 1950s both in North America and Europe by individuals who often trained in art schools. The geometric, abstract forms of the Art Deco style were influenced by the functional forms of technology and engineering, often translated into organic patterns. Simple, clean designs of modernist jewelry largely originated from Bauhaus theory.
The phenomenon of New Jewelry occurred in the 1960’s, as a new generation of artists/jewelers challenged traditional concepts of jewelry as a status symbol and means of sexual stereotyping. Radical forms and non-precious, mundane materials such as paper, wood, steel, aluminum, plastic and rubber were discovered and employed.
This new approach to jewelry introduced themes critiquing status, economic power, and body image as well as a crucial self-examination of the discipline itself, involving issues of preciousness, beauty and history.
For the seven artists in this exhibition, material/formal/technical experiments are not the main focus of their work. Andreas Zidek’s and Amelia Toelke’s works explore the possible social function of jewelry as a communicative object initiating dialog between the viewer and the wearer. Casts by Mary Pearse comment on jewelry as a conveyer of personal memories. Andrew Phares and uses jewelry to critique American culture and deconstruct our collective unconscious, while Shella Robinson focuses on the teenage rituals that mark a rite of passage or show an affiliation to a group/identity. Conceptual analysis of the medium itself seems to be the subject of Melissa Tolar’s work, which juxtaposes precious and cheap/mass produced materials. Rings by Sakurako Shimizu use a very traditional form in order to link various living entities with metal conceptually through their common property of weight.
These works expose common threads currently fermenting in the field of art jewelry, placing it surprisingly close to general fine-art practice. Or perhaps they simply signal the obsolescence of traditional boundaries between artistic genera and a need for more unified vocabulary.
This is the text for the group exhibition "People Don’t Care About Ideas, They Just Like Cool Objects", curated by Sakurako Shimizu.
Presented at VertexList space with the following artists: Mary Pearse, Andrew J. Phares, Shella Robinson, Amelia Toelke, Melissa Tolar, Sakurako Shimizu and Andreas Zidek.
On show Saturday, July 09 from 7-10 pm and continued until July 31, 2005.
ReferencesPiece by: Andrew, J. Phares
Found rubber and ceramics objects, colored modeling compound, paint
The Pin, A Special Connection. An essay by Julia Wild18Sep2017
Deema Murad. Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School. Selected Graduate 201714Sep2017
Kristy Bujanic. PXL-MAD School of Arts. Selected Graduate 201711Sep2017
Jeweler Claudio Pino Stars Alongside Abbey Lee in The Dark Tower08Sep2017
Emily Culver. Cranbrook Academy of Art. Selected Graduate 201706Sep2017
Cathy Ferreira. Universiteit Stellenbosch University. Selected Graduate 201701Sep2017
Hannah Oatman. State University of New York at New Paltz. Selected Graduate 201725Aug2017
Hayley Grafflin. Sheffield Hallam University. Selected Graduate 201722Aug2017
Sofia Bankeström. HDK. Academy of Design and Crafts. Selected Graduate 201722Aug2017
Mia Copíková. Hochschule Trier. Selected Graduate 201714Aug2017
Hayan Kim. Hochschule Düsseldorf, Peter Behrens School of Arts, Applied Art and Design. Selected Graduate 201706Aug2017
The City Goldsmith Tabea Reulecke visits Hanau20Jul2017
Chih Jou -Yolanda- Chiu. Academy of Art University. Selected Graduate 201712Jul2017
Lucy Ganley. Central Saint Martins. Selected Graduate 201706Jul2017
Laura Salguero. EASD Valencia. Selected Graduate 201704Jul2017