Month: February 2012

Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990

Postmodernism is an ambitious and extensive exhibition. It is the latest in a loose series of exhibitions of major art movements, such as art nouveau and art deco, to be held at the V&A Museum. Like postmodernism itself, the exhibition is a complex and sometimes perhaps, a confusing experience. As an introduction, visitors read: ‘… of all the movements in art and design history, postmodernism is perhaps the most controversial’ and ‘with its unstable mix of theatrical and theoretical, the movement defies definition.’ This elusive and inconsistent subject is what the exhibition aims to examine.

Kiff Slemmons

Patti Bleicher and Eileen David started Gallery Loupe in Montclair, New Jersey, United States, six years ago. They show a roster of both established and emerging international artists and are interested in furthering the dialogue that contemporary jewelry evokes. In February they asked Kiff Slemmons, an established American artist, to show her most recent work in an exhibition called Huesos. I caught up with Kiff and asked her a few questions about her work and her interests.

Kiff SiemmonsSusan Cummins: Kiff, I know you have been working with artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico for the past ten years and that these paper pieces represent work you did with them. Please tell me something this project and the resulting work.

Kiff Slemmons: These pieces emerged from an art residence at Arte Papel Oaxaca. The artist and  members of the atelier did the work together. Early pieces referenced African jewelry with discs built up into sculptural bead forms. Later pieces exhibit the techniques of folding, cutting and hollow-punching, rolled and formed paper pulp. The atelier is dedicated to ‘reviving the pre-Columbian tradition of making paper from natural fibers.’ The result of this project is a collection of paper jewelry, which is highly sculptural and utilizes indigenous plants, fibers, natural and synthetic dyes. 



 Talking about paper in Oaxaca involves countering assumptions about the material, its fragility versus strength, the metaphoric implications of paper in this regard, in relation to books and the culture at large. What paper meant in pre-contact culture in Mexico, its magnified significance after conquest and its current place in culture today. How I came to work as I did there means looking at my previous work, how it might have led to such a project which involves a kind of world view through jewelry and writing. My work is really not technique determined, even with the paper. It’s ideas that interest me first and the possibility of being poetic in a visual language.

Patti Bleicher and Eileen David started Gallery Loupe in Montclair, New Jersey, United States, six years ago. They show a roster of both established and emerging international artists and are interested in furthering the dialogue that contemporary jewelry evokes. In February they asked Kiff Slemmons, an established American artist, to show her most recent work in an exhibition called Huesos. I caught up with Kiff and asked her a few questions about her work and her interests.

Kiff SiemmonsSusan Cummins: Kiff, I know you have been working with artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico for the past ten years and that these paper pieces represent work you did with them. Please tell me something this project and the resulting work.

Kiff Slemmons: These pieces emerged from an art residence at Arte Papel Oaxaca. The artist and  members of the atelier did the work together. Early pieces referenced African jewelry with discs built up into sculptural bead forms. Later pieces exhibit the techniques of folding, cutting and hollow-punching, rolled and formed paper pulp. The atelier is dedicated to ‘reviving the pre-Columbian tradition of making paper from natural fibers.’ The result of this project is a collection of paper jewelry, which is highly sculptural and utilizes indigenous plants, fibers, natural and synthetic dyes. 



 Talking about paper in Oaxaca involves countering assumptions about the material, its fragility versus strength, the metaphoric implications of paper in this regard, in relation to books and the culture at large. What paper meant in pre-contact culture in Mexico, its magnified significance after conquest and its current place in culture today. How I came to work as I did there means looking at my previous work, how it might have led to such a project which involves a kind of world view through jewelry and writing. My work is really not technique determined, even with the paper. It’s ideas that interest me first and the possibility of being poetic in a visual language.

Kiff Slemmons

 Patti Bleicher and Eileen David started Gallery Loupe in Montclair, New Jersey, United States, six years ago. They show a roster of both established and emerging international artists and are interested in furthering the dialogue that contemporary jewelry evokes. In February they asked Kiff Slemmons, an established American artist, to show her most recent work in an exhibition called Huesos. I caught up with Kiff and asked her a few questions about her work and her interests.

Kiff SiemmonsSusan Cummins: Kiff, I know you have been working with artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico for the past ten years and that these paper pieces represent work you did with them. Please tell me something this project and the resulting work.

Kiff Slemmons: These pieces emerged from an art residence at Arte Papel Oaxaca. The artist and  members of the atelier did the work together. Early pieces referenced African jewelry with discs built up into sculptural bead forms. Later pieces exhibit the techniques of folding, cutting and hollow-punching, rolled and formed paper pulp. The atelier is dedicated to ‘reviving the pre-Columbian tradition of making paper from natural fibers.’ The result of this project is a collection of paper jewelry, which is highly sculptural and utilizes indigenous plants, fibers, natural and synthetic dyes. 



 Talking about paper in Oaxaca involves countering assumptions about the material, its fragility versus strength, the metaphoric implications of paper in this regard, in relation to books and the culture at large. What paper meant in pre-contact culture in Mexico, its magnified significance after conquest and its current place in culture today. How I came to work as I did there means looking at my previous work, how it might have led to such a project which involves a kind of world view through jewelry and writing. My work is really not technique determined, even with the paper. It’s ideas that interest me first and the possibility of being poetic in a visual language.

Curator’s Choice

Nancy Worden, Initiation Necklace, 1977. Silver, rhodonite, copper, pills set in epoxy, and plastic hair curlers, 27 x 3 x 1 1/4 inches. Tacoma Art Museum, Gift of the artist. Photo: Doug Yapple. Finding Favorites in the Collection Thinking about which work in Tacoma Art Museum’s collection of studio art jewelry is my favorite brought …

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ArtPrize 2011

Mia Tavonatti, Crucifixion, 2011 Huang, Numinous Community, 2011 The top-prize winners over the past three years have been highly technical and competent works displaying a mastery of medium and an understanding of how to illusionistically render a subject in two-dimensions. In the contest’s first year Ran Ortner’s 19-foot wide, photo-realistic, oil-on-canvas rendering of ocean surf …

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Tobias Alm: Traces of function and Terhi Tolvanen: Introduction

Terhi Tolvanen During the month of February the Galerie Rob Koudijs is featuring two outstanding exhibitions: Tobias Alm: Traces of function and Terhi Tolvanen: Introduction. Tobias is a younger emerging artist and Terhi is a well-established maker but showing for the first time with this gallery. Rob is very articulate about their work and his gallery. Read on.Tobias Alm

 

Susan Cummins: How would you describe the kind of contemporary jewelry you represent?

Rob Koudijs: Here’s what it says on our website: ‘The gallery specializes in contemporary art jewelry which communicates ideas, has sculptural qualities and an innovative use of materials. The gallery represents a very motivated group of jewelry artists who produce work challenging the borders of the applied and the fine arts.’ This still hold true for what we are aiming for and both exhibitions live up to this goal.

Have you represented the two jewelers you are featuring in this exhibition for a long time?

Yes, I’m pleased to say we both picked them when they graduated. Terhi Tolvanen when she had just finished her master-education at the Sandberg Institute (connected to the Rietveld Academy) here in Amsterdam; Tobias Alm at the time he made his bachelor exhibition at Ädellab (Metal Department), Konstfack, Stockholm in Sweden in 2009.

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