Posts Tagged ‘jewellery

15
May
14

Exhibition: ‘From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith’ at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Exhibition dates: 22nd February – 18th May 2014

 

Very much of their time, these beautiful, understated pieces of anamorphic jewellery are exquisitely designed objets d’art.

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Many thankx to the Cincinnati Art Museum for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the art.

 

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) '"Modern Cuff" Bracelet' designed c. 1948

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
“Modern Cuff” Bracelet
designed c. 1948
Silver
1 5/8 x 2 1/2 x 4 in. (4.1 x 6.4 x 10.2 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) '"Lava" Bracelet' designed c. 1946

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
“Lava” Bracelet
designed c. 1946
Silver
2 1/2 x 2 5/8 x 5 3/4 in. (6.4 x 6.7 x 14.6 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) 'Autumn Leaves Brooch' 1974

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
Autumn Leaves Brooch
1974
Gold, jade
1/2 x 3 x 1 3/4 in. (1.3 x 7.6 x 4.4 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) 'Untitled' 1948-1979

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
Untitled
1948-1979
Wood, paint, copper
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

 

“It will be a feast for the eyes of those who appreciate jewelry this Spring in the Queen City. The spirit of craft and its revival will shine through in large scale, highly sculpted pieces of jewelry created by Art Smith and his contemporaries in From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith, February 22, 2014 through May 18, 2014.

This exhibition features twenty-four pieces of silver and gold jewelry created by African American artist Art Smith, as well as more than forty pieces by his contemporaries, including Sam Kramer, Margaret De Patta, and Harry Bertoia. Three pieces of jewelry by Alexander Calder, who influenced many of these artists/jewelers, will also be featured in this exhibition. This exhibition was organized by the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Cincinnati Art Museum is the first to host this exhibition. It will then continue to the Dallas Museum of Art and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

Inspired by surrealism, biomorphism and primitivism, Art Smith (1917-1982) was one of the leading modernist jewelers of the mid-twentieth century. Early in his career, Smith met Talley Beatty, a young black dancer and choreographer, who introduced him to the world of dance, in particular the salon of Frank and Dorcas Neal. It was there that he met several prominent black artists, including writer James Baldwin, musician and composer Billy Strayhorn, singers Lena Horne and Harry Belafonte, actor Brock Peters, and painter Charles Sebree. Smith began to create pieces for dance companies, who in turn, encouraged him to design on a grander scale. This experience is evident in the scale of his mature work.

In 1946, Smith opened his own studio in Greenwich Village and started selling his jewelry. He soon caught the attention of buyers in Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago. In the early 1950s, Smith received pictorial coverage in both Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and was mentioned in The New Yorker shoppers guide, On the Avenue”. Smith soon established business relationships with Bloomingdales, Milton Heffling in Manhattan, James Boutique in Houston, L’Unique in Minneapolis and Black Tulip in Dallas. While his earlier work was executed primarily in copper and brass, because it was less expensive, growing recognition increased sales and special commissions for custom designs. This allowed him to begin producing more work in silver. He received a prestigious commission from the Peekskill, New York chapter of the NAACP, for example, to design a brooch for Eleanor Roosevelt. He was even commissioned to design a pair of cufflinks for Duke Ellington, whose music he often listened to while working.

Included in the exhibition are major works by Smith including his famous Patina Necklace (c. 1959). Worked in silver, it is an example both of the large scale of his jewelry and of his use of asymmetry. Alexander Calder’s influence is also clear in this piece. From the curved structure that wraps the neck, two pierced ellipses dangle over the breastbone, giving the necklace a kinetic energy that enlivens the piece. With a sculptor’s sensitivity, Smith emphasized negative space in his designs and viewed the human body as an armature for his creations. He considered his jewelry incomplete until it rested on the human structure.

According to Cincinnati Art Museum interim Chief Curator Cynthia Amnéus, Working in the heart of Greenwich Village, Smith was influenced by jazz musicians like Charlie Parker, visual artists like Robert Motherwell, and the poetry readings of Beat Generation writers like Alan Ginsberg. Smith’s work, like that of his contemporaries, appealed to an artistic and intellectual clientele. These artisans were not concerned with making pretty jewelry. They created works of art that were meant to be worn on the body.”

Press release from the Cincinnati Art Museum website

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) 'Linked Oval Necklace' designed by 1974

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
Linked Oval Necklace
designed by 1974
Silver, amethyst quartz
11 x 10 1/2 x 1/2 in. (27.9 x 26.7 x 1.3 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) 'Triangle Necklace' c. 1969

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
Triangle Necklace
c. 1969
Silver, turquoise, lapis lazuli, rhodochrosite
16 1/8 x 5 1/8 x 1/2 in. (41.0 x 13.0 x 1.3 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) 'Ellington Necklace' c. 1962

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
Ellington Necklace
c. 1962
Silver, turquoise, amethyst, prase, rhodonite
16 7/8 x 9 7/8 x 3/4 in. (42.9 x 25.1 x 1.9 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) 'New Orleans Necklace' c. 1962

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
New Orleans Necklace
c. 1962
Silver, three semiprecious stones: Labradorite (?)
8 5/8 x 5 7/8 x 3/4 in. (21.9 x 14.9 x 1.9 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982) '"Bauble" Necklace' c. 1953

 

Art Smith (American, 1917-1982)
“Bauble” Necklace
c. 1953
Silver, colorless quartz
9 1/8 x 4 7/8 x 1/2 in. (23.2 x 12.4 x 1.3 cm)
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charles L. Russell

 

2007.61.15Peter-Basch.-Model-Wearing-Art-Smith's-Modern-Cuff-Bracelet,-circa-1948.-Black-and-white-photograph,-13-34-x-1034-in.-(34.9-x-27.3-cm).-Courtesy-of-Brooklyn-Museum-WEB

 

Peter Basch
Model Wearing Art Smith’s “Modern Cuff” Bracelet
c. 1948
Black-and-white photograph
13 3/4 x 103/4 in. (34.9 x 27.3 cm)
Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

 

 

Cincinnati Art Museum

953 Eden Park Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45202
T: 513-639-2872

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The Art Museum is closed on Mondays

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 website

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09
Feb
14

Exhibition: ‘Jewels by JAR’ at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Exhibition dates: 20th November 2013 – 9th March 2014

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Can you imagine 400 of these fabulous works together in one exhibition… so much restrained, cultured bling all in one place!

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Many thankx to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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JAR. 'Poppy Brooch' 1982

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JAR 
Poppy Brooch 
1982
Diamond, tourmalines, and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Katharina Faerber. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Zebra Brooch' 1987

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JAR
Zebra Brooch
1987
Agate, diamonds, a sapphire, silver, and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Katharina Faerber. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Butterfly Brooch' 1994

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JAR
Butterfly Brooch
1994
Sapphires, fire opals, rubies, amethyst, garnets, diamonds, silver and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Katharina Faerber. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Colored Balls Necklace' 1999

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JAR
Colored Balls Necklace
1999
Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, spinels, garnets, opals, tourmalines, aquamarines, citrines, diamonds, silver, and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Lilac Brooches' 2001

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JAR
Lilac Brooches
2001
Diamonds, lilac sapphires, garnets, aluminum, silver, and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Geranium brooch' 2007

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JAR 
Geranium brooch 
2007
Diamonds, aluminum, silver, and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Tulip Brooch' 2008

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JAR
Tulip Brooch
2008
Rubies, diamonds, pink sapphires, garnets, silver, gold, and enamel
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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“Jewels by JAR at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will feature more than 400 works by renowned jewelry designer Joel A. Rosenthal, who works in Paris under the name JAR. The exhibition will be the first retrospective in the United States of his work and the first retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum devoted to a contemporary artist of gems.

Growing up in the Bronx, New York, Rosenthal spent much of his early life visiting the museums in the city, stirring in him a passion for art, history, and all things beautiful that has stayed with him throughout his life. Rosenthal left New York to attend Harvard University and moved to Paris shortly after his graduation in 1966. It was in Paris that Rosenthal met Pierre Jeannet – the other half of the JAR story.

Rosenthal and Jeannet spent much time at antique shops, museums, galleries, and auction houses learning about antique jewelry, diamonds, pearls, and colored stones. In 1973, they opened a needlepoint shop on the rue de l’Université. For Rosenthal needlepoint meant painting, mainly flowers, on a white canvas and playing with the palette of the colors of the wools. But the passion for jewelry was there and he wanted to “play with stones,” as he later explained. The needlepoint shop lasted only 11 months, but during this period Rosenthal was encouraged by others to re-design clients’ jewels and turned his attention once again, and more fully, to jewelry. In 1976, Rosenthal moved back to New York to work at Bulgari but returned to Paris and decided to open his own jewelry business under his initials, JAR.

JAR opened in 1978 on the Place Vendôme. At the start, it was run by a team of only two – Rosenthal and Jeannet. The clientele broadened from local Parisians to a range of international clients, and in 1987, Rosenthal and Jeannet relocated JAR to a larger space next door to their original shop – the same space from which they operate today. As they worked more and more with exceptional stones, they expanded the team to include the few exceptional craftsmen still specializing in this field.

JAR makes jewels that fulfill an aesthetic rather than commercial ambition. A particular skill of the JAR team is selecting stones for their color compatibility, complementary range, or contrast. Rosenthal, who once said, “we are not afraid of any materials,” uses metals as strong as platinum and as lightweight as aluminum as bases for his designs. He reintroduced the use of silver in fine jewelry making and blackened the metal to enhance the color of the stones and the shine of the diamonds. The color and the shading of his pavé technique became a signature, as did the diamond thread work.

Rosenthal experiments with a variety of forms, designs, and themes. Two significant and recurring themes in his work are flowers and butterflies, which often appear in the form of brooches. Rosenthal’s flowers are not shaped regularly, but rather capture the role of chance in nature – be it in the form of a bud, a flower in full bloom, or a falling petal. Each JAR piece is unique and three-dimensional.

Jeannet summarizes Rosenthal’s process this way: “At every step of the making of a piece, he checks and corrects. And if at the end his eye is not happy, we destroy the piece. But the piece, finished, is not yet at home; his last look is to see that the jewel has gone to the right lady. Then he sighs, his work is done.”

Press release from The Metropolitan Museum of Art website

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JAR. 'Hoop Earrings' 2008 and 2010

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JAR 
Top:
Hoop Earrings 
2008
Rubies, sapphires, diamonds, silver, and gold

Bottom:
Hoop Earrings 
2010
Spinels, diamonds, silver, and gold

Both: Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Bracelet' 2010

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JAR
Bracelet
2010
Diamonds, silver, and platinum
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Camellia Brooch' 2010

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JAR
Camellia Brooch
2010
Rubies, pink sapphires, diamonds, silver, and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Multicolored Handkerchief Earrings' 2011

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JAR
Multicolored Handkerchief Earrings
2011
Sapphires, demantoid and other garnets, zircons, tourmalines, emeralds, rubies, fire opals, spinels, beryls, diamonds, platinum, silver, and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Earrings' 2011

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JAR
Earrings
2011
Emeralds, oriental pearls, diamonds, and platinum
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Cameo and Rose Petal Brooch' 2011

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JAR
Cameo and Rose Petal Brooch
2011
Rubies, diamonds, silver, gold
Private collection
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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JAR. 'Raspberry Brooch' 2011

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JAR
Raspberry Brooch
2011
Rubies, diamonds, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum
Collection of Sien M. Chew
Photograph by Jozsef Tari. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
New York, New York 10028-0198
T: 212-535-7710

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 9.30 am – 5.30 pm*
Friday and Saturday: 9.30 am – 9.00 pm*
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17
Aug
13

Catalogue essay by Dr Marcus Bunyan / Exhibition: ‘Sudarios (Shrouds)’ by Erika Diettes at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale

Exhibition dates: 17th August – 15th September 2013

Entry free, open daily 10 am – 5pm

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This exhibition is one of the core programs for this year’s Ballarat International Foto Biennale and I had the privilege of writing the catalogue essay for the Colombian artist Erika Diettes. I met the delightful Erika and her husband today at the opening of BiFB on their first trip to Australia and I must say the art hangs very well in the Mining Exchange building.

This was one of the most difficult but rewarding pieces that I have ever had to write.
In reading, I hope you gather the full import of the text.

Text © Marcus Bunyan. All images © Marcus Bunyan, Erika Diettes and Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

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Intimations of Mor(t)ality: Sudarios (Shrouds) by Erika Diettes

by Dr Marcus Bunyan

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“There is now a vast repository of images that make it harder to maintain [a] kind of moral defectiveness. Let the atrocious images haunt us. Even if they are only tokens, and cannot possibly encompass most of the reality to which they refer, they still perform a vital function. The images say: This is what human beings are capable of doing – may volunteer to do, enthusiastically, self-righteously. Don’t forget.”

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Susan Sontag Regarding the Pain of Others 2003 1

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When I was asked to write the catalogue essay on Colombian artist Erika Diettes’ work Sudarios (Shrouds) by editor Esther Gyorki for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale the work gave me pause. What could I say about it that was relevant, insightful and spoke from the heart? I wrote back to Esther saying I needed to do some background research: “This is difficult subject matter and I want to make sure I can do it justice before I commit to writing about it.”2 In a synchronous way that often happens in the world, that is ultimately what this text is about – justice.

The basics are easily told. Artist and anthropologist Erika Diettes travelled to different cities in the department of Antioquia to interview women who had been present at the torture and murder of their loved ones.3 Diettes photographed the women, closely cropped in black and white, at a moment of great vulnerability – all but one with their eyes closed. The resultant twenty photographs were printed on seven feet tall silk panels and form the work Sudarios (shrouds are a burial cloak, a cloth that shrouds the body of the deceased). The artist always intended for these images to be printed on silk and had the installation in mind before she took the photographs: in other words previsualisation was strong. The work is usually displayed in sacred spaces such as churches and convents with a sound track of a barely audible, sighing female voice; here in Ballarat the work is hung in the former Mining Exchange building, a seat of colonial power and wealth which can be read as appropriate for the presentation of this work, for torture is always about the power of one person over another. The viewer can walk through these floating realities and be enfolded in the aggrieved women’s sorrow as if part of a ceremonial procession, perhaps a funeral cortege.

In her creation of an allegorical space for mourning, Diettes work acts as a funeral rite for both living and dead, acts of mourning placed in a context of splendour. The images evoke the representation of the death of Saint Sebastian, the faces recalling “the exquisite suffering of the Catholic saints and martyrs, but also of refugees and victims of contemporary traumas,”4 while the atrocities perpetrated on the body are hidden by the close cropping of the images. As Diettes observes, “You can’t help being a little pierced by their exhalations,”5 an indirect reference by Diettes to the arrows that pierce Saint Sebastian’s body. Diettes opens a space before the camera for the human ‘being’ in context, a terrain (of) or becoming, where the terrors are written on the countenance of the women, their mouths silently singing their song of mourning. Look at their mouths, each one contorted in agony, each one giving voice to the memory of terror.

These are confronting images about trauma and grief, documenting the ongoing effects of atrocity on the mind of the observer for they are portrayals of the effect of intim(id)ation, where intimations of mortality are evidenced by the removal of an identity, the beloved id, which reveals the intimate – expressed in the adoration/adornment of the women with jewellery which signifies the women’s dignity, comfort, and continuing engagement with the world as an extension of personal self/belief.

The signs of erasure of these murders are rearticulated through Diettes work. The bodies are held in suspended animation, in endless agony, through an act of re-terror-itorialization. Through the evacuation of loved ones, their discontinuity and deterritorialization, and the reterritorialization / re-terroring of that space through memory – portrayed on the faces of the women – the images recast and represent issues of power, domination and abuse. Through suspended sorrow, suspended mourning, the disappearance of some bodies and the speaking of others, the images become a representation of a doubled absence, a doubled momenti mori – for the photographs picture the women (making them dead) as they themselves remember the violence perpetrated before them from behind closed eyes (as the dead have their eyes closed), remembering in their mind’s eye the death of the beloved. The image of the victim has become a ghost, a trace etched upon the face of the relative, a trace of that which “persists and gives testimony of a vanished state” in art, for if art is linked to memory and to what survives, it is from the perspective of its own corpse-oreality, its own ghostly and fragile materiality that these images emerge: the hanged man, the hung woman. Remaking but always recording the past through interaction with the present, the shrouds are a palimpsest in which “personal memories are always interwoven with historical consciousness”6 and are constantly being rewritten.

Of course the photographs elicit our empathy but more than that they make us feel their terrible vulnerability while drawing us into uncomfortable complicity as subsidiary witnesses to the event.7 Normally when looking at a photograph the viewer is a secondary witness but here the viewer becomes a tertiary witness – the actual event, the memory of that event etched on the face of the women captured by the camera and now observed by the viewer. There is an osmotic effect taking place as one as one image is super imposed on another. Even after an event is over, “there’s an after image or an echo that exists… a spirit or a residue, a trace.”8 These visions are like images of the Holocaust. As soon as we see them we are implicated in a narrative – and we are helpless in this process – which is an essential part of history.

Diettes work reframes the subject because there is no traditional frame of reference for the viewer, only a memory of that reference in the form of a ghost-like shroud. The normal definition of a shroud no longer pertains to these images for the cloth is no longer around a dead body but represents / holds a trace of what was once dead.

As spirit photographs in the Victorian era solidified a fractured, unknown reality, so these apparitions of the departed are brought forth and solidified, just for a moment, in the faces of the suffering women. The viewer of these images does not see the (dead) carrier of messages, but only their shadows carried by the grief of their loved ones, shrouded as they are in remembrances of the past. We feel that the women are not looking at us but that the aura of their invisible seeing is directed toward us from outside of its normative context – from behind their eyes. It is this imprint on the Shrouds; the imprint of their memories that travels great distances towards us, that enfolds us in sorrow and shadow.

“It is the special feeling of the ‘presence’ of a work produced not by its remaining where it is but by its moving across boundaries where it reaches us from a distance, looking at us even when it appears not to. It is where the work seems peculiarly meant for us even in its indifference to or difference from us.”9

If photographs really are “experience captured” then Diettes explores this arm of consciousness in its acquisitive mood,10 probing the limitation of the medium, shaping the space within the available conditions. Her images become images of sentience that enable the viewer to live in the world with open eyes (while the victims eyes are closed) – to be made aware of the injustices of this world and not remain silent. Diettes work is not about remembering, it’s about an answerable “not forgetting” for hers… is to remind us of the responsibility to make art in response to mor(t)ality.

As human beings, we must fight for the right to be heard and use art as a visual language to textualise our experience and thereby make it available for interpretation and closure. Powerful, simple questions (and I believe) undeniable questions have to be asked; and in response to those questions (power: it will corrupt you, but if you don’t want it, it will be used against you), intelligence, justice and integrity must be used in the service of art. While human truth may be ephemeral qualities like justice are not; the struggle is to define justice and to live it. And for artists to display it.

You place innocence at the heart of human depravity – and hope it survives.

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Melbourne 2013

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Endnotes

1. Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others. London: Hamish Hamilton, 2003, p.102.

2. Email to Esther Gyorki. Tue, March 26, 2013

3. The capital of the department of Antioquia is Medellin. The city is a 35-minute flight from the Colombian capital Bogota and has one of the highest rates of violence concerning drugs in Colombia. Most of the crimes were committed between 2001 and 2008.

4. Anon. “Berlinde De Bruyckere Into One-Another To P.P.P.” on the Hauser and Wirth website [Online] Cited May 5, 2013.
www.hauserwirth.com/exhibitions/899/berlinde-de-bruyckere-into-one-another-to-p-p-p/view/

5. Diettes, Erika quoted in Tobón, Paola Cardona. “The exhalation of sorrow,” in  El Colombiano, November 4, 2012 [Online] Cited Cited May 5, 2013.
erikadiettes.com/links/prensa/houston/02_ExhalationOfSorrow_ElColombiano_v2.pdf

6. Garb, Tamar. “A Land of Signs,” in Journal of Contemporary African Art 26, Spring 2010, p.11.

7. Op. cit. “Berlinde De Bruyckere Into One-Another To P.P.P.”

8. Rakes, Rachael and Goldsmith, Leo. “Pasolini’s Body: Cathy Lee Crane with Leo Goldsmith and Rachael Rakes,” on The Brooklyn Rail website. January 13, 2013 [Online] Cited May 5, 2013.
www.brooklynrail.org/2013/02/film/pasolinis-body-cathy-lee-crane-with-leo-goldsmith-rachael-rakes

9. Butler, Rex. “”Lines”, Leading Out of Sight?: Is Aboriginal Art Losing its Aura?” in Australian Art Collector No. 13, July-September 2000, p.87.

10. Campany, David. “Photography and Photographs,” on the Still Searching blog. April 14, 2013 [Online] Cited May 11, 2013.
blog.fotomuseum.ch/2013/04/1-photography-and-photographs/#more-1282

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of 'Sudarios (Shrouds)' by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat. Photographs by Marcus Bunyan

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Installation photographs of Sudarios (Shrouds) by Erika Diettes at the Mining Exchange, Ballarat
Photographs by Marcus Bunyan
© Marcus Bunyan, Erika Diettes and Ballarat International Foto Biennale

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Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Ballarat International Foto Biennale
Mining Exchange building
8 Lydiard St N
Ballarat VIC 3350
T: (03) 5333 4242

Ballarat International Foto Biennale website

Erika Diettes website

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20
Apr
12

Exhibition: ‘Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery’ at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 20th April – 26th August 2012

 

Installation photograph of the exhibition 'Unexpected Pleasures' at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation photograph of the exhibition Unexpected Pleasures at the National Gallery of Victoria
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

An elegant, refined exhibition of contemporary jewellery at the National Gallery of Victoria’s newly redeveloped Contemporary Exhibitions space. The most striking and beautiful pieces are the neck ornaments, although I am a very much over some relatively unstructured jewellery made out of found objects. It really has been done to death. Trying to take photographs of jewellery in cases with reflections and extraneous light is very difficult but I hope my photographs below give you an idea of the design, installation and some specific pieces in the exhibition.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Many thankx to the NGV for inviting me to the media preview and for allowing me to take photographs of the exhibition. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All photographs not otherwise labelled © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria.

 

 

Installation photograph of the exhibition 'Unexpected Pleasures' at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation photograph of the exhibition Unexpected Pleasures at the National Gallery of Victoria
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Caroline Broadhead. 'Necklace/Veil' 1983

 

Caroline Broadhead (British, b. 1950)
Necklace/Veil (installation view)
1983
Nylon
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Caroline Broadhead (British, b. 1950) 'Veil, necklace' 1983

 

Caroline Broadhead (British, b. 1950)
Veil, necklace
1983
Nylon
60.0 x 30.0 x 30.0 cm
Collection of the artist
© Caroline Broadhead
Photo: David Ward

 

Susanne Klemm. 'Frozen' 2007

 

Susanne Klemm (Swiss, b. 1965)
Frozen (installation view)
2007
Polyolefin
Courtesy of Anna Schwartz Gallery
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Lisa Walker. 'Necklace' 2009

 

Lisa Walker (New Zealand, b. 1967)
Necklace (installation view)
2009
Plastic, thread
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Beverley Price. 'Nespresso Collier' 2012

 

Beverley Price
Nespresso Collier (installation view)
2012
Anodised aluminium, plastic coated wire, fine gold
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Gijs Bakker. 'Shoulder piece' 1967

 

Gijs Bakker (Dutch, b. 1942)
Shoulder piece (installation view)
1967
Anodised aluminium
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery displays over 200 works by important Australian and international contemporary jewellers who have pushed conceptual and material boundaries within their practices. This Design Museum, London exhibition is curated by Guest Curator and Melbourne jeweller Susan Cohn, and is complemented by a selection of NGV Collection works and private loans.

Unexpected Pleasures looks at what we mean by jewellery from a number of different perspectives. Taking as its starting point the radical experiments of the Contemporary Jewellery Movement that challenged a conventional understanding of the language of personal adornment, and looking instead at the essential meanings of jewellery, the exhibition brings together important work from around the world, and looks at it from the point of view of the wearer as well as the maker. Contemporary Jewellery in this sense is at the intersection of art and design.

Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said: “This is a remarkable and exciting exhibition, brilliantly installed in the Gallery’s newly redeveloped Contemporary Exhibitions space at NGV International.”

The exhibition explores the essential meanings of jewellery, bypassing traditional perceptions and instead tracing the radical experiments of contemporary jewellers who have challenged the conventions of jewellery design. The exhibition is curated through a number of themes: Worn Out – celebrating the experience of wearing jewellery; Linking Links – looking at the ways in which ‘meaning’ and narratives are invested and expressed through sub-themes such as Social Expressions and Creative Systems, and; A Fine Line – offering insight into the origins of contemporary jewellery today, highlighting key instigators of the Contemporary Jewellery Movement that started in the late 1970s.

Each theme within the exhibition provides an outline of current thinking and offers a unique view on how people use and interact with objects, through which design and production processes come to light. Photography in this context becomes a vital instrument for expressing the ‘wearability’ and the performative aspects of jewellery, and a selection of photographic works are also included in the exhibition.

New techniques and experimentation continue to question the relevance of preciousness, highlighting the shifting values from material worth to the personal associations that jewellery holds. The exhibition celebrates jewellery from the point of view of both the maker and the wearer. It considers the pleasures of wearing jewellery and the many meanings associated with jewellery which are at times unpredictable and, in turn, unexpected.

Press release from the NGV website

 

Otto Kunzli. 'Wallpaper brooches' 1982

 

Otto Künzli (German, b. 1948)
Wallpaper brooches (installation view)
1982
Wallpaper, synthetic polymer core, steel
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'Who am I? rings' 2008-11

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
Who am I? rings
2008-11
Gold, silver, polyurethane
Various sizes
Collection of the artist
© Esther Knobel
Photo: Jeremy Dillon

 

Paul Derrez. 'Pleated Collar' 1982

 

Paul Derrez (Dutch, b. 1950)
Pleated Collar (installation view)
1982
Plastic, steel
Collection of Paul Derrez
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Doug Bucci. 'Trans-Hematopoietic neckpiece' 2010

 

Doug Bucci (American)
Trans-Hematopoietic neckpiece
2010
3-D printed acrylic resin as one interlinked piece
45.7 x 45.7 x 5.1 cm
Collection of the artist
© Doug Bucci
Photo: Rebecca Annand

 

David Bielander. 'Scampi' 2007

 

David Bielander (Swiss, b. 1968)
Scampi
2007
Silver (copper anodised), elastic
10.0 cm (diam)
Collection of the artist
© David Bielander
Photo: Simon Bielander

 

Blanche Tilden. 'Speed, neckpiece' 2000

 

Blanche Tilden (Australian, b. 1968)
Speed, neckpiece
2000
Borosilicate glass, titanium, anodised aluminium
1.2 x 24.0 cm
Collection of the artist
© Blanche Tilden
Photo: Marcus Scholz

 

Karl Fritsch. 'Screw ring' 2010

 

Karl Fritsch (New Zealand, born Germany 1963)
Screw ring
2010
Silver, nails, screws
6.0 x 4.0 x 4.0 cm
Collection of the artist
© Karl Fritsch
Photo: Karl Fritsch

 

Tota Reciclados. 'Theorie du champ mechanique' 2010

 

Tota Reciclados
Theorie du champ mechanique (installation view)
2010
Found objects, book cover, mixed media
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

NGV International
180 St Kilda Road

Opening hours
Daily 10am – 5pm

National Gallery of Victoria website

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21
May
10

Vale Mari Funaki

May 2010

 

It is with great sadness that I hear of the passing of Mari Funaki on the 13th May 2010.

I met Mari many times and she was always wonderfully generous with her energy, knowledge and enthusiasm. She was an amazing artist, I loved her work especially the stunning anamorphic black bracelets and the fact that she used photography of Bernd and Hiller Becher as part of her inspiration. My conversation with Mari in 2006 and photographs of her work can be found on the Notes from a Conversation with Mari Funaki posting.

Vale Mari Funaki

 

“A memorial will be held on Tuesday June 1st, 2010 at 11.00am in THE GREAT HALL of the National Gallery of Victoria, International.

Please RSVP to Katie Scott at galleryfunaki@iinet.net.au or phone 9662 9446 if you wish to attend (affirmative responses only please). Everybody is welcome to celebrate the life of this extraordinary artist, gallery director and friend.”

 

 

Mari Funaki outside Gallery Funaki

 

Mari Funaki outside Gallery Funaki

 

 

Gallery Funaki website

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03
May
10

Review: ‘To hold and be held’ by Kiko Gianocca at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 20th April – 15th May 2010

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'Untitled (touch wood)' multiples 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
Untitled (touch wood) multiples
2009
Burnt wood, resin

 

 

A beautiful exhibition of objects by Swiss/Italian artist Kiko Gianocca at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, one full of delicate resonances and remembrances.

Obelisk pendants in blackened and silvered wood, Neolithic standing stones, totemic, silent;
The hole through the object akin to ‘seeing’ through time.
Exposed wood on base (touch wood) as grounding.

The standing stone installation an altar piece, a dark reliquary (see image above)

 

Glass vessels with internal funnels filled with the gold detritus of disassembled objects, found pendants:
Horse, Anchor, Four leaf clover, Swan, Hammer & sickle (see images below)

The distance between the bail – the finding that attaches the pendant to the necklace – and the remainder/reminder of the vessel itself. What a distance!

As Sally Mann would articulate, ‘What remains’1 …

Lives previous to this incarnation; jewels embedded in dust.
The captured potency of displaced objects.
Personal and yet anonymous at one and the same time.

 

Brooches of gloss and matt black resin plates. A plastic black, almost Rembrandt-esque.

On the reverse images exposed like a photographic plate, found images solidified in resin.

The front: the depths of the universe, navigating the dazzling darkness
The back: memories, forgotten, then remade, worn like a secret against the beating chest. Only the wearer knows!

Here is a territorialization, “a double movement, where something accumulates meanings (re-territorialization), but does so co-extensively with a de-territorialization where the same thing is disinvested of meanings.”2

As Kiki Gianocca asks, “I am not sure if I grasp the memories that sometimes come to mind.
I start to think they hold me instead of me holding them.”

 

Time is the distance between objects. No objects.
Space is the distance between events. No events.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

  1. “Mann’s fifth book, What Remains, published in 2003, is based on the show of the same name at the Corcoran Museum in Washington, DC and is in five parts. The first section contains photographs of the remains of Eva, her greyhound, after decomposition. The second part has the photographs of dead and decomposing bodies at a federal Forensic Anthropology Facility (known as the ‘body farm’). The third part details the site on her property where an armed escaped convict was killed. The fourth part is a study of the grounds of Antietam (the site of the bloodiest single day battle in American history during the Civil War. The last part is a study of close-ups of the faces of her children. Thus, this study of mortality, decay and death ends with hope and love.”
    Sally Mann. Wikipedia [Online] Cited 02/05/2010
  2. “For them (Deleuze and Guattari), assemblages are the processes by which various configurations of linked components function in an intersection with each other, a process that can be both productive and disruptive. Any such process involves a territorialization; there is a double movement where something accumulates meanings (re-territorialization), but does so co-extensively with a de-territorialization where the same thing is disinvested of meanings. The organization of a territory is characterized by such a double movement … An assemblage is an extension of this process, and can be thought of as constituted by an intensification of these processes around a particular site through a multiplicity of intersections of such territorializations.”
    Wood, Aylish. “Fresh Kill: Information technologies as sites of resistance ” in Munt, Sally (ed.,). Technospaces: Inside the New Media. London: Continuum, 2001, p. 166.

.
Many thankx to Katie and Gallery Funaki for allowing me to take the photographs in the gallery and post them online. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All photographs © Marcus Bunyan except The waterfall.

 

 

I own a stone that a friend passed to me, and a shackle that Michael gave me.

I found a curious object in Lisbon at the fleamarket, I paid one euro for it and I still don’t know what it is.

Yesterday I had a look again at the picture you shot. I am not sure if I grasp the memories that sometimes come to mind.

I start to think they hold me instead of me holding them.

.
Kiko Gianocca, April 2010

 

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'To hold and be held' by Kiko Gianocca at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne

Installation view of the exhibition 'To hold and be held' by Kiko Gianocca at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
Untitled (touch wood) multiples
2009
Wood, silver

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'To hold and be held' by Kiko Gianocca at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
Horse, Anchor, Four leaf clover and Swan (left to right)
2009
18k gold, glass

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'Horse' 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
Horse
2009
18k gold, glass

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'Anchor' 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
Anchor
2009
18k gold, glass

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'Swan' 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
Swan
2009
18k gold, glass

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'To hold and be held' by Kiko Gianocca at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne

 

Installation view of exhibition with Untitled (touch wood) burnt wood multiples in distance

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'Man & dog' 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
Man & dog
2009
Found image, resin, silver

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'The waterfall' 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
The waterfall
2009
Found image, resin, silver

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'The dog' 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
The dog
2009
Found image, resin, silver

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'The kiss' (reverse) 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
The kiss (reverse)
2009
Found image, resin, silver

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'The way up' (reverse) 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
The way up (reverse)
2009
Found image, resin, silver

 

Kiko Gianocca. 'The beast' (reverse) 2009

 

Kiko Gianocca (Swiss, b. 1974)
The beast (reverse)
2009
Found image, resin, silver

 

 

Gallery Funaki
4 Crossley St.,
Melbourne 3000
Phone: 03 9662 9446

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday 10.30am – 5pm
Saturday 12 – 4pm

Gallery Funaki website

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16
Aug
09

Review: ‘Cineraria’ by Julia deVille at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 28th July  – 22nd August 2009

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982) 'Ruby Heart Starling' 2008

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
Ruby Heart Starling
2008
Starling, sterling silver, black rhodium & gold plate, rubies, antique frame
30 x 35 x 18 cm

 

 

This is an itsy-bitsy show by Julia deVille at Sophie Gannon Gallery in Richmond, Melbourne. Offering a menagerie of macabre stuffed animals and conceptual ideas the exhibition fails to coalesce into a satisfying vision. It features many ideas that are not fully investigated and incorporated into the corporeal body of the work.

We have, variously, The Funerary Urn/Cinerarium, The Ossuary, Skeletons, Black, Victorian Funerary Customs, Feathers, Taxidermy, Time, Eggs and Religion. We also have stuffed animals, cigar boxes, lace and silver, pelts and columns, jet necklaces and Victorian glass domes, glass eyes and ruby hearts to name but a few. The viewer is overwhelmed by ideas and materials.

When individual pieces excel the work is magical: the delicate and disturbing Stillborn Angel (2009, below) curled in a foetal position with appended sparrows wings is a knockout. The large suspended raven of Night’s Plutonian Shore (2009, above) effectively evinces the feeling of the shores of the underworld that the title, taken from an Edgar Allan Poe poem, reflects on.

Other pieces only half succeed. Piglet (2009, below) is a nice idea with its lace snout and beaded wings sitting on a bed of feathers awaiting judgement but somehow the elements don’t click into place. Further work are just one shot ideas that really lead nowhere. For example Cat Rug (2008, below) features black crystals in the mouth of a taxidermied cat that lies splayed on a plinth on the gallery floor. And, so … Silver Rook (2008, below) is a rook whose bones have been cast in silver, with another ruby heart, suspended in mid-air in the gallery space. Again an interesting idea that really doesn’t translate into any dialogue that is substantial or interesting.

Another problem with the work is the technical proficiency of some of the pieces. The cast silver front legs and ribs of The Anatomy of a Rabbit (2008, below) are of poor quality and detract from what should have been the delicacy of the skeletal bones of the work. The bronze lion cartouche on the egg shaped Lion Urn (2009) fails to fit the curved shape of the egg – it is just attached at the top most point and sits proud of the egg shape beneath. Surely someone with an eye for detail and a sense of context, perfection and pride in the work they make would know that the cartouche should have been made to fit the shape underneath.

Despite its fashionable position hovering between craft, jewellery and installation this is ‘art’ in need of a good reappraisal. My suggestion would be to take one idea, only one, and investigate it fully in a range of work that is thematically linked and beautifully made. Instead of multiplying the ideas and materials that are used, simplify the conceptual theme and at the same time layer the work so it has more complexity, so that it reveals itself over time. You only have to look at the work of Mari Funaki in the previous post or the simple but conceptually complex photographs of Matthias Koch in the German photography review to understand that LESS IS MORE!

There are positive signs here and I look forward to seeing the development of the artist over the next few years.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

.
Many thankx to Sophie Gannon Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982) 'Night's Plutonian Shore' 2009

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
Night’s Plutonian Shore
2009
Tasmanian Forest Raven, black garnets, cotton, sterling silver, amethyst

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982) 'L'enfant (Infant Funerary Urn)' 2009

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
L’enfant (Infant Funerary Urn)
2009
Ostrich egg, sterling silver, ostrich plumes and black garnet
35 x 12 x 12 cm

 

Julia de Ville 'Cineraria' installation view at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

Julia de Ville 'Cineraria' installation view at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

 

Julia deVille Cineraria installation views at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

 

Julia de Ville. 'Piglet' 2009

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
Piglet
2009
Piglet, antique lace, pins and feathers
25 x 23 x 13 cm

 

Julia de Ville. 'Cat Rug' 2008

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
Cat Rug
2008
Cat, glitter and fibreglass
100 x 60 x 8 cm

 

Julia de Ville. 'Sympathy' 2008

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
Sympathy
2008

 

Julia de Ville. 'Silver Rook' 2008

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
Silver Rook
2008
Sterling silver, rubies
30 x 25 x 35 cm

 

 

Cinerarium

n. pl. Cineraria
A place for keeping the ashes of a cremated body.

Cineraria
n. any of several horticultural varieties of a composite plant, Senecio hybridus, of the Canary Islands, having clusters of flowers with
white, blue, purple, red, or variegated rays.

Origin: 1590-1600; < NL, fem. of cinerarius ashen, equiv. to L ciner- (s. of cinis ashes) + -rius -ary; so named from ash-coloured down on leaves.

CINERARIA is a study of the ritual and sentiment behind funerary customs from various cultures and eras.

 

Notes on inspirations

The Funerary Urn/Cinerarium: Funerary Urns have been used since the times of the ancient Greeks and are still used today. After death, the body is cremated and the ashes are collected in the urn.

The Ossuary: An ossuary is a chest, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce. A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary. The greatly reduced space taken up by an ossuary means that it is possible to store the remains of many more people in a single tomb than if the original coffins were left as is. This was a common practice in post plague Europe in the 14th-16th Centuries.

Skeletons: Human skeletons and sometimes non-human animal skeletons and skulls are often used as blunt images of death. The skull and crossbones (Death’s Head) motif has been used among Europeans as a symbol of piracy, poison and most commonly, human mortality.

Black: In the West, the colour used for death and mourning is black. Black is associated with the underworld and evil. Kali, the Hindu god of destruction, is depicted as black.

Victorian Funerary Customs:

  • A wreath of laurel, yew or boxwood tied with crape or black ribbons would be hung on the front door to alert passers by that a death had occurred
  • The use of flowers and candles helped to mask unpleasant odours in the room before embalming became common
  • White was a popular colour for the funeral of a child. White gloves, ostrich plumes and a white coffin were the standard

Feathers: In Egyptian culture a recently deceased persons soul had to be as light as a feather to pass the judgment of Ma’at. Ma’at (Maet, Mayet) is the Egyptian goddess of truth, justice and the underworld. She is often portrayed as wearing a feather, a symbol of truth, on her head. She passed judgment over the souls of the dead in the Judgment Hall of Osiris. She also weighted up the soul against a feather. The “Law of Ma’at” was the basis of civil laws in ancient Egypt. If it failed, the soul was sent into the underworld. Ma’at’s symbol, an ostrich feather, stands for order and truth.

Taxidermy: Taxidermy to me is a modern form of preservation, a way for life to continue on after death, in a symbolic visual form.

The Raven: In many cultures for thousands of years, the Raven has been seen symbol of death. This is largely due to the Raven feeding on carrion. Edgar Allan Poe has used this symbolism in his poem, “The Raven”.

Time: Less blunt symbols of death frequently allude to the passage of time and the fragility of life. Clocks, hourglasses, sundials, and other timepieces call to mind that time is passing. Similarly, a candle both marks the passage of time, and bears witness that it will eventually burn itself out. These sorts of symbols were often incorporated into vanitas paintings, a variety of early still life.

Eggs: The egg has been a symbol of the start of new life for over 2,500 years, dating back to the ancient Persians. I have chosen egg shapes and even one Ostrich egg to represent the cycle of life, the beginning and the end.

Religion: Religion has played a large part in many funerary customs and beliefs. I am particularly interested in the Memento Mori period of the 16th-18th centuries. In a Calvinistic Europe, when the plague was a not too distant memory, a constant preoccupation with death became a fashionable devotional trend.

Julia deVille

 

Julia de Ville. 'Stillborn Angel' 2009

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
Stillborn Angel
2009
Stillborn puppy, sparrow wings and sterling silver
13 x 10 x 5 cm

 

Julia de Ville. 'The Anatomy of a Rabbit' 2008

 

Julia deVille (New Zealand, b. 1982)
The Anatomy of a Rabbit
2008
Rabbit, sterling silver, rubies, glitter and mahogany
30 x 30 x 30 cm

 

Julia de Ville 'Cineraria' installation views at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

 

Julia deVille Cineraria installation view at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

 

 

Sophie Gannon Gallery
2, Albert Street, Richmond, Melbourne

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 11 – 5pm

Sophie Gannon Gallery website

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14
Aug
09

Notes from a Conversation with Mari Funaki. Exhibition: ‘Mari Funaki, Works 1992-2009’ at Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

Exhibition dates: 27th June – 18th October 2009

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 1' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 1 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 2' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 2 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

 

Mari Funaki is one of Australia’s leading jewellers. This exhibition celebrates her considerable achievements between 1992 and the present day. Her first major show in a state gallery, it includes nearly fifty works and will be the first time Perth audiences have seen her work in such depth. Many of these are new works produced especially for this show.

The exhibition will focus on rings, containers and bracelets. These forms have been the core of her practice, the foundation of her intricate material experimentations. Her sheer intensity of focus has seen her hone these forms into objects of extreme power and beauty. Funaki’s is no simple beauty, however. It is sharp, complicated. There is always a sense of danger in her work, as the spindly legs of her insect-like containers support unlikely, unwieldy torsos, and as her rings and bracelets cultivate miniature monoliths that play with scale and weight in fascinating ways.

This exhibition will frame these unique objects in such a way as to acknowledge Funaki’s ability to work with space and matter to form entrancing works that adorn the imagination in the same they adorn the body.

Text from the Art Gallery of Western Australia website [Online] Cited 10/08/2009 no longer available online

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 3' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 3 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 4' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 4 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

 

Notes from a Conversation with Mari Funaki, July 2006

Mari Funaki’s initial response comes from the environment – the response is part random, part constructed idea.

Funaki likes the ‘animated’ response from the viewer – allowing them to make their own associations with the work and their own meaning. The making of the work doesn’t emerge out of nothing but through the development of ideas over a long period of time.

Mari starts with a flat drawing – this approach comes from an Eastern perspective in the history of art making i.e. screens, woodcuts and scrolls. Initially when starting with the idea Mari is mentally thinking in two dimensions – then drawing out onto paper in two dimensions the ideas.

When actually making the work Mari then starts working and thinking in three dimensions – starting with a base piece of metal and working physically and intuitively around the object, to form a construction that evidences her feelings about what she wants to create. She likes the aesthetic beauty but uneasy aspect of a dead insect for example (like the Louise Bourgeois Maman spider outside the Guggenheim in Bilbao).

Now collaborating with architect Nonda Kotsalidis, Mari is working to produce her sculptural objects on a larger scale, up to 6 metres high. She needs the objects to have an emotional and physical impact on the viewer – both beautiful and threatening at one and the same time. How will her objects translate to a larger scale? Very well I think.

Funaki likes the physical distortion of space – and she likes telling a story to the viewer. She is working on a building where the facade is really strongly geometric and then she is embedding an emotion into the front of the building – constructing a narrative – constructing an emotional response with the viewer and establishing a relationship with the building. Here she is working from photographs of the space, her own recognition and remembrance of that space. She is having to work physically in 3D from the beginning for the first time, but still uses drawings to sketch out her ideas.

Several of Funaki’s pieces in the Cecily and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award (2006) at the NGV Federation Square were inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Their photographs of factories and gasworks, specifically the facades of such buildings (see image below), were the jumping off point for the development of the objects (the bracelets). Funaki takes the front of these buildings, a 3D structure ‘in reality’ but pictorially imaged on a 2D plane, and then twists and distorts their structure back into a 3D environment. The facades move up and around, as though a body is twisting around its own axis, pirouetting around an invisible central spine.

Each piece is created and then the next one is created in relation to the previous, or to each other. Each individual piece has its own character and relation to each other. They are never variations of the same piece with small differences – each is a separate but fully (in)formed entity.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher. 'Water Towers' 1980

 

Bernd and Hiller Becher (German, 1931-2007 and 1934-2015)
Water Towers
1980
Gelatin silver prints

 

 

“Black. Sharp, shifting contours. Familiar and alien. Confident, expressive and agile, it is easy to take the existence of these works for granted – and it is hard enough to trace in one’s mind the physical evolution back through heat colouring, sandblasting, soldering, assembling and cutting, to unremarkable, thin sheets of mild steel – let alone comprehend their conception and resolution.

They inhabit space in a way that is difficult to describe – the edge between each object and the space that encloses it is shockingly sudden.

How can something human-made be so insanely artificial and natural at the same time? It must be no accident that I described them as articulate – ambiguous and wide ranging in the breadth of associations and allusions, they can tell you everything and nothing at the same time.”

Sally Marsland, 2006

Text from the Gallery Funaki website [Online] Cited 10/08/2009 no longer available online

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 5' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 5 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 6' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 6 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

 

Art Gallery of Western Australia
Perth Cultural Centre
Perth WA 6000

Opening hours:
Wednesday – Monday 10am – 5pm
Closed Tuesdays.

Art Gallery of Western Australia website

Gallery Funaki website

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04
Jul
09

Exhibition: ‘Johannes Kuhnen: a survey of innovation’ at RMIT Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 5th June – 18th July 2009

 

Johannes Kuhnen. 'Rings' 1971

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Rings
1971

 

Johannes Kuhnen. 'Ring' 1973

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Ring
1972
Stainless steel, synthetic ruby disc

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Brooch and ring'

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)

Brooch
2003
Anodised aluminium, monel

Ring
1972
Stainless steel, synthetic ruby disc

 

 

This is a superlative exhibition, one of the highlights of the year so far in Melbourne.

The exhibition presents work from the early 1970s to contemporary work and evidences the breadth of vision of this master craftsman and artist, the arc of his investigation showing a consistency of feeling for the energy and form of his materials over many decades. Technically the work is superb; conceptually the work transcends the boundaries of jewellery and becomes something else altogether: it becomes magical.

Kuhnen’s use of colour in his favoured anodised aluminium material is exquisite, the perfection of his forms flawless. His fabulous Vessels reminding me of the ancient Neolithic standing stone circles at Stonehenge in their shape and use of vertical buttresses in different materials (such stainless steel and granite) that intersect the oval forms. His Boxes are like small ancient reliquaries, objects for holding ashes worked with a delicacy, simplicity and feeling for form and colour that is absolutely beautiful and consistent with the containment of energy within their structure.

I went with Marianne Cseh a jeweller friend of mine. We stood transfixed before this work, peering closely at it and gasping in appreciation of the beauty, technical proficiency and pure poetry of the pieces. This exhibition is highly recommended and not to be missed!

Now showing with the international SCHMUCK jewellery exhibition from Germany.

A book to accompany the exhibition is available from the RMIT Gallery.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

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Many thankx to RMIT Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Johannes Kuhnen. Boxes 1980

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Boxes
1980

 

Johannes Kuhnen. 'Box and pendant' 1980

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Box and pendant
1980

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Tray' 1986

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Tray
1986
Anodised aluminium, titanium, stainless steel

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Centrepiece' 1987

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Centrepiece
1987

 

Johannes Kuhnen. 'Centrepiece' 1991

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Centrepiece
1991
Anodised aluminium, silver, monel: fabricated

 

 

In his work as a jeweller, object maker and photographer, Johannes Kuhnen is engaged with the interpretation and manipulation of a precise visual language of forms. The dramatic curvilinear shape of this centrepiece has been designed to emphasise the particular visual qualities of its materials and to fulfil its role as a low, but commanding central presence on a table. The vivid, iridescent colour of its anodised aluminium rim is designed to interact with differing light conditions, while the technical and precious qualities of its monel and silver elements play against each other. This orchestration of metals is underpinned with an unseen but precise and ingenious inner structure, giving this object weight and functional strength.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra [Online] Cited 10/03/2019

 

Johannes Kuhnen has made a pioneering contribution to Australian design and gold and silver smithing through his commitment as a generous educator and innovative practitioner. This exhibition will create linkages between his earlier works, some of which was made in Germany prior to migrating to Australia and new work specifically produced for this exhibition and this will be done both with objects and through a catalogue/monograph to be launched at the opening venue. The exhibition will borrow from Australian public and private collections to facilitate the demonstration of connecting design elements in the work from both significant streams in Kuhnen’s work in jewellery and hollowware.

Text from the RMIT Gallery website [Online] Cited 02/07/2009 no longer available online

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Vessel' 2007

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Vessel' 2007

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Vessel
2007
Anodised aluminium, titanium, stainless steel
11.2 h x 84.5 w x 21.0 d cm
Weight 14 kg

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Vessel' 2008

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Vessel
2008
Anodised aluminium, titanium, stainless steel

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Vessel' 2009

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Vessel' 2009

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Vessel
2009
Anodised aluminium, titanium, stainless steel

 

Johannes Kuhnen. 'Armring' 1981

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Armring
1981
Anodised aluminium
9.8 h x 10.4 w cm

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952) 'Armring' 1990

 

Johannes Kuhnen (Australian, born Germany 1952)
Armring
1990
Armring, anodised aluminium, gold 750, granite

 

 

RMIT Gallery
344 Swanston St
, Melbourne
Phone: +61 3 9925 1717

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday, 12 pm – 5 pm
Closed public holidays and Sundays.

RMIT Gallery website

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11
Jun
09

Exhibition photographs: ‘Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire’ Melbourne Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 13th June – 4th October 2009

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

 

Installation photographs from the latest Winter Masterpieces blockbuster Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire from the media preview on the day the exhibition opened at NGV International, Melbourne. Thank you to Jemma Altmeier, Media and Public Affairs Administrator at the NGV for the invitation. Photographs were taken using a digital camera, tripod and available light.

Fantastic to see my friend and curator of the exhibition, Dr Ted Gott, at the opening. Congratulations on a wonderful show!

Dr Marcus Bunyan for Art Blart

 

© All photographs copyright Dr Marcus Bunyan 2009 and the National Gallery of Victoria. All rights reserved. Photographs may not be reproduced without permission.

Photographs proceed from the beginning to the end of the exhibition in chronological order.

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Many thankx to the National Gallery of Victoria for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Entrance to the 'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Entrance to the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

3 panel video installation of the Catalan countryside around where Salvador Dali lived

 

3 panel video installation of the Catalan countryside where Salvador Dali lived. 13 minutes duration

 

Early work from the 'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Early work from the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

Early work from the 'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

To the left View of the Cadaques from the Creus Tower 1923; to the right Table in front of the Sea. Homage to Eric Satie 1926 from the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

Early work from the 'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

In the centre The First Days of Spring 1929; to the right Surrealist composition 1928 from the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

Salvador Dalí. 'The First Days of Spring' 1929

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48)
The First Days of Spring
1929
Oil on canvas
The Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, Florida
Worldwide Rights: © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VISCOPY, 2009
In the USA: © Salvador Dalí Museum Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2009

 

dali-installation-j

 

Installation view with The Age art critic Associate Professor Robert Nelson at centre right and The hand. The remorse of conscience 1930 at far right, from the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

Salvador Dalí. 'Daddy Longlegs of the evening - Hope!' 1940

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48)
Daddy Longlegs of the evening – Hope!
1940
Oil on canvas
40.6 x 50.8 cm
The Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, Florida
Worldwide Rights: © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VISCOPY, 2009
In the USA: © Salvador Dalí Museum Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2009

 

Salvador Dalí. 'The disintegration of The persistence of memory' 1952-54

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48)
The disintegration of The persistence of memory
1952-54
Oil on canvas
25.4 x 33.0 cm
The Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, Florida
Worldwide Rights: © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VISCOPY, 2009.
In the USA: © Salvador Dalí Museum Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2009

 

Salvador Dalí. 'Soft self-portrait with grilled bacon' 1941

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48)
Soft self-portrait with grilled bacon
1941
Oil on canvas
61.0 x 51.0 cm
Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres (0043)
© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala- Salvador Dalí, VISCOPY, 2009

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48) 'Memory of the child-woman' 1932

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48)
Memory of the child-woman
1932
Oil on canvas
99.1 x 120.0 cm
The Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, Florida
Worldwide Rights: © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VISCOPY, 2009
In the USA: © Salvador Dalí Museum Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2009

 

dali-installation-l

 

Installation view with Memory of the child-woman 1932 at right from the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-89)
Lobster Telephone
1936

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Jewellery gallery at the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48)Alemany and Ertman Incorporated (New York, manufacturer United States late 1940s) 'Bleeding world, pendant' 1953

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48)
Alemany and Ertman Incorporated (New York, manufacturer United States late 1940s)
Bleeding world, pendant
1953
Gold, rubies, pearls, diamonds
The Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, Florida
Worldwide Rights: © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VISCOPY, 2009
In the USA: © Salvador Dalí Museum Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2009

 

Television with film installation at 'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Televisions with film installation from the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48) Philippe Halsman (Latvian/American 1906-79, worked in France 1931-40) 'Dalí Atomicus' 1948, printed 1981

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904-89, worked in United States 1940-48)
Philippe Halsman (Latvian/American 1906-79, worked in France 1931-40)
Dalí Atomicus
1948, printed 1981
Gelatin silver photograph
26.7 x 34.3 cm
Image rights of Salvador Dalí reserved. Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2009
© Philippe Halsman / Magnum

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Installation of black and white photography with Dr Ted Gott, curator of the exhibition, with back to camera at centre

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Reproduction of Gala foot. Stereoscopic paintings 1975-76 in an installation using mirrors that would have been originally used to obtain the stereoscopic effect

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Final exhibition space from the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

Salvador Dalí. 'The Ecumenical Council' 1960

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-89)
The Ecumenical Council
1960
Oil on canvas
299.7 x 254.0 cm
The Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, Florida
Worldwide Rights: © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VISCOPY, 2009
In the USA: © Salvador Dalí Museum Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2009

 

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

'Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire' Winter Masterpieces exhibition at NGV International, Melbourne

 

Final gallery space from the Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne featuring The Ecumenical Council 1960

 

 

National Gallery of Victoria (International)
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Opening hours: Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire is open 7 days a week and until 9pm every Wednesday from 17 June

Tickets
Adult: $23
Concession: $18
Child: $11 (ages 5-15)
Family (2 adults + 3 children): $60
NGV Member Adult: $16
NGV Member Family: $40

Unlimited entry tickets
Adult: $55
Concession: $45
NGV Member Adult: $40

National Gallery of Victoria Dali website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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