Is that a brooch in your drawers, or are you just pleased to see me

From Minimal to Bling before installation, Society of Arts and Crafts Five days out from opening night, the Society of Arts and Crafts (SAC) in Boston is a site of purposeful activity. The previous exhibition has come down and is being packed away in preparation for sending back to the makers and new owners. The gallery walls are clear, the floor is dotted with empty boxes and rolls of bubble wrap. The next show, From Minimal to Bling: Contemporary Studio Jewelry, is due to open on Friday November 4, 2011. This is the third time SAC has hosted this exhibition. I asked Fabio Fernandez, exhibitions director at SAC, if he could explain to me exactly what the show is about.

Essentially it is a mini survey presenting the work of contemporary practitioners who we think are doing good and interesting work. With a number of fine art schools in the area, work in the exhibition has the possibility to become an extension of the classroom. We therefore attempt to make selections that mirror or anticipate current methods, materials, processes and themes . . . plastics, CNC, felt, found materials, narrative . . . Our selections are informed by our attendance at events like the SNAG conference, where Beth Ann Gerstein (SAC director) and I have served as portfolio reviewers, by what we learn when asked to be visiting critics at universities and by artists whose work we encounter when we are asked to be on jury panels. We also keep abreast of developments on sites like AJF, Crafthaus, Klimt02 and the like.

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From Minimal to Bling before installation, Society of Arts and Crafts
From Minimal to Bling before installation, Society of Arts and Crafts
Kevin Hughes Jewelry (left), Lisa & Scott Cylinder jewelry (right), From Minimal
Don Friedlich jewelry, From Minimal to Bling
Toby Milgrim jewelry, From Minimal to Bling
Jennifer Wall jewelry, From Minimal to Bling
Brooke Marks-Swanson jewelry (top), Judith Kinghorn jewelry (bottom), From Minim

Fresh Talent: Anja Eichler

Anja Eichler“The inspiration for my work comes out of the material itself. I love its outside surface with its wrinkles that remind me of a coral when I see it or, once I touch it, of an elephant skin. I also love its inside material, the wool, especially because of its contrast to the latex on the outside.”

Most people wouldn’t give a second look to the material that Anja Eichler is fondly referring to. In fact, this material is normally looked at for its function, not its aesthetic value. This elephant skin material she describes as both wooly and coral-like is a run-of-the mill, commercially produced work glove. The work constructed from this material is offered as both jewelry and sculpture, but Anja is most interested in the work’s relationship to the body.

“I see my pieces as sculptures for the body. Wearability is important for most of my pieces since wearing them as a sculpture, and thus a body extension gives them a different meaning than standing alone as an isolated object.”

As “body extensions” they form a sort of light weight barnacle – one that invites touch through the tactility of this curious looking materials.

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Anja Eichler
Anja Eichler
Anja Eichler
Anja Eichler
Anja Eichler
Anja Eichler
Anja Eichler

Linear Celebration

Aaron Faber Gallery Director Patricia Kiley Faber talks about the genesis of their new show.

Carolina Gimeno

The inspiration for the current ‘In Line’ exhibition at Aaron Faber Gallery came from a superb exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art last year that I had the good fortune to see. The MOMA show, titled “On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century” and curated by Connie Butler and Catherine de Zegher, brought its audience a fresh view of line. One moved from rooms hung with expert but unsurprising linear drawings and paintings, to rooms with sculptural and three-dimensional works defined by linear movement,  to dance performance in the atrium, the dancers moving in linear forms through space. In short, the viewer was taken from Picasso and Kandinsky, to Calder and Eva Hesse, to Trisha Brown and Atsuko Tanaka.  The freshness of the show was exhilarating, and inspired me to look at line in metal for a group exhibition at the gallery.

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Carolina Gimeno
Toril Bjorg
Emma Fielden
Karola Torkos
Peter Schmid/Atelier Zobel
Meghan Patrice Riley
Silke Knetsch
Carolina Gimeno

Fresh Talent: A Conversation with Boris de Beijer

Boris De Beijer Imagine your desk in seventh grade math class – dug into with pen tips – the initials of the object of a thirteen-year-old’s crush, names of favorite bands, pentagrams and love hearts. Now imagine your desk cut to pieces, shaped and carved into the silhouette of a soft stealth bomber or otherworldly death mask. There is a cord attached to this object – is it to be swung or to be hung around your neck? What is its function? A weapon? An amulet? A souvenir of your 7th grade math class? Not quite sure what it is or where it came from? Good. That’s the whole point. De Beijer is interested in this conjured vision – your conjured vision. “My works are all about alienating the ordinary. I adjust shapes and forms in a way that they can’t be placed with certainty in any known realm. Ideally I want the viewer to wonder about what it is he or she is looking at, instead of clarifying it for them. On the other hand almost all of the works seem to resemble something recognizable. I transform the ordinary and common into the unknown and symbolic.”

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Boris De Beijer
Boris De Beijer
Boris De Beijer
Boris De Beijer

Ruudt Peters: Corpus

Galerie Rob Koudijs, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 10 – October 15, 2011

Ruudt Peters Specters shift quietly, hovering over the polished concrete floor of Galerie Rob Koudijs. The black shrouds hang from simple pin steel structures, forming the shoulders of the ghosts floating around you. From these shoulders hang Ruudt Peters new body of work entitled Corpus.

The large charcoal grey shapes lay camouflaged against the draped black fabric -  their nebulous contours and flat surfaces absorbing the light around them.

From afar you struggle to assign something recognizable to the indeterminate shapes. Some appear as stark Rorschach tests – perfectly mirrored inkblots, others as corresponding outlines hovering close to one another, curling around an invisible center. As the distance closes you see that something is beyond that hard crisp edge. You begin to realize that the forms you are studying are split – cut into halves, sections and parts, with emphasis placed on the shapes created by cutting, exposing something we normally do not acknowledge – that which lies quiet beneath the exterior surface. Beyond the edge of this flat plane you know there is form and texture summoning you to discover it, as it coyly hides from view. Suddenly it becomes apparent that you are looking at the modeled crucified Christ figure. A scene which in-and-of itself arouses a spectrum of emotions from comfort to hatred. The iconic figure which has been a part of the language of jewelry since the middle ages has been dissected and reconfigured to compose a series of neckpieces, brooches and wall objects.

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Ruudt Peters at Galerie Rob Koudijs
Ruudt Peters
Ruudt Peters
Ruudt Peters

Mia Maljojoki: Explosive: Frozen Fireworks

Galerie Rob Koudijs, Amsterdam The Netherlands September 9 – October 15, 2011

Mia Maljojoki For the first time Mia Maljojoki’s exuberant jewellery was presented at Galerie Rob Koudijs Amsterdam in a solo exhibition. From the moment the pieces were layed out, passers-by were drawn to the strong colours and bold shapes. ‘Maybe’ or ‘perhaps’ are no options with Maljojoki’s pieces: it is probably the most outspoken work you can find in the contemporary jewellery field today and you either love it or hate it. Fortunately many people had already been tempted and persuaded by Maljojoki’s jewellery at the two art-fairs where Rob Koudijs exhibited her work earlier this year.

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Mia Maljojoki
Mia Maljojoki
Mia Maljojoki
Mia Maljojoki
Mia Maljojoki
Mia Maljojoki
Mia Maljojoki

Peter Hoogeboom: Sierraaden

Peter Hoogeboom Dutch jeweler Peter Hoogeboom’s new show Sieraarden is a poetic and functional achievement, beautifully presented by Galerie RA, a cornerstone of contemporary jewelry in Amsterdam.

Sieraarden is a play on words -  sieraad being the Dutch word for a piece of jewelry, and aarde meaning earth. Hoogeboom is engaged in an exploration of the earth, from what is beneath the surface to the fruit the soil bears. Poetically, he utilizes clay, an actual piece of earth, to explore the archeological finds and ancient food and drink containers he finds fascinating.

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Peter Hoogeboom
Peter Hoogeboom
Peter Hoogeboom
Peter Hoogeboom
Peter Hoogeboom
Peter Hoogeboom
Peter Hoogeboom
Peter Hoogeboom
Terracotta dogs and sheep, Xian China
Peter Hoogeboom

McQueen in Manhattan

A unique museum phenomenon recently ended in New York City. Hordes of admiring visitors descended not on the Museum of Modern Art and not even to gaze at art per se. No, it was an exhibit of haute couture by a fascinating and recently deceased fashion designer held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Adding to the allure of the designer’s cache was an innovative, remarkably designed and staged presentation of fashion and accessories that may serve as the gold standard of museum display for years to come.

Rebecca Annand reports for AJF: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Enter New York’s Metropolitan Museum through the Great Hall. Pass by the entrances to Greek and Roman Sculpture and Egyptian Galleries to a narrow side escalator. Go up to the second floor along the balcony, through Buddhist sculptures and past cases of Islamic decorative arts. Depending on the day, the line to get to this point may have taken up to an hour. If you went during the final week of the show, then it almost certainly took longer. The last Sunday afternoon, the exact wait time was two hours and forty-five minutes, with still another hour, and an entire Hellenistic Sculpture collection, to go before reaching the official entrance. This is the line to Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.

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Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen

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