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Diagonal vs Il Gioiello Contemporaneo

Blog post
Published: 17.09.2010
Diagonal vs Il Gioiello Contemporaneo.
Sanna Svedestedt

By the foot of the Alps in Italy, the lush green scenery plunge into the clear waters of Lake Garda. In this breathtaking scenery you will find the Cominelli Foundation, the hosts for the Cominelli Foundation Award.

View from Palazzo Cominelli

Contemporary Jewellery Association, Agc, organizes it and it is an ambitious project. Applications for the award were due in April this year, and 40 jewellers were selected for the opening exhibition. When Karin’s work was chosen, nothing could stop Diagonal from going to the opening.

Karin in front of the entrance

We arrived at five in the afternoon and at six the opening event started with a lecture by Graziella Folchini Grasetto from Studio GR 20, presenting the story of Il Gioiello Contemporaneo (that’s C.J in Italian). Starting with work by Naum Zutsky in the 1920’s, through the accomplishments by Alexander Calder and Margaret de Dalta in the 1940’s and the importance of the work by Giampalo Babetto, Otto Künzli, Gijs Bakker and Ruudt Peters she painted a vivid image of the history of contemporary jewellery. Ending up by recent pieces by Bettina Speckner, Iris Eichenberg and Iris Nieuwenburg – just to mention a few – the audience was given a broad perspective before the ribbons of the exhibitions were cut.

Visitors taking a look at the pieces

Diagonal met the lovely Judy McCaig and took the opportunity to ask some questions about her work. Judy McCaig is a jeweller based in Barcelona and she was represented with two brooches from her collection called “Through the White Clouds”, created last year.

- How do you feel about this work now?
- Well, when I look at them now they seem so small compared to my recent work. The new collection called “Through Night and Day” continues on a parallel theme combining and contrasting light and dark. This solo show at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh opens on October 5th and runs until 30th.

Out of The Mist, Fog and Rain, painting by Judy McCaig, 2010, mixed media

We had a little chat with Alasdair Gall, one of the visitors at the opening.
- What’s your first impression of the show?
- I like it, it seems very professional and it is an interesting selection. I have seen some jewellery exhibitions lately that did not make sense to me. These pieces on the other hand all look like they could be worn and I find that more appealing then conceptual work.
And if you could choose a piece to wear tonight?
…then it would have to be the brooch by Bettina Speckner. It makes me think of New York… because, well it is New York.

The exhibition is shown in three rooms, with a view overlooking the lake. It is a minimalistic presentation, where the pieces are left to do the talking.

Diagonal met Rita Marcangelo, director of the Alternatives Gallery and former chairman of Agc. Apart from an annual jewellery event at the Palazzo Cominelli, the plan is to organize a permanent collection, and Rita Marcangelo told us that it has been a dream for the organization for many years to have a permanent spot for jewellery in this part of Italy. She was impressed by the presentation and the selection for this premier Fondazione Cominelli Award.

- We really enjoyed seeing the pieces in real life, it is quite different from looking at them in images. How do you feel about this, and how is it to judge a piece just from a picture?
- It is quite difficult to judge a piece in a photo if you have not seen the actual work at some stage. As a gallerist I prefer to work with artists whose work I am familiar with, although it is not always possible.

- And if you could choose a piece to wear tonight?
- Oh, I can’t! That’s too hard. But I’ll tell you this, there are very few I wouldn’t choose.

We left our fantastic Bed and Breakfast in Raffa with the feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Next year it is time for the second edition of the contest and we hope we will meet then and there.

Diagonal also wants to take the opportunity to congratulate Iris Bodemer, the winner of the Award and Fabrizio Tridenti, who got the second prize.


- Sanna Svedestedt & Karin Roy Andersson

Karin's participation at the opening was founded by iaspis

About the author

Sanna Svedestedt, Klimt02 Forum Editor & jewellery artist

Karin Roy Andersson, Manager gallery Four, Gothenburg & jewellery artist


About this blog

Diagonal is a collaboration between Karin Roy Andersson & Sanna Svedestedt. Our focus is to promote contemporary art jewellery. With this blog we share our views & thoughts to take you with us through the ups & downs of our jewellery adventures.