Opens today miart – fiera internazionale dell’arte moderna e contemporanea, with the first presence of Club degli Orafi Italia, with the exhibition “Double\Face – Tangible and Intangible in Art Jewelry“, curated by Alba Cappellieri.
Giorgio Villa – President Club degli Orafi Italia
“I am proud to present Club degli Orafi Italia’s first participation at miart – the international fair of modern and contemporary art in Milan. There is such a strong link between art and high-end Italian jewelry that anything I say might seem superfluous. Over the centuries, the incredible skills of Italian goldsmiths have, on many occasions, joined forces with the creative flair of internationally renowned artists, whose masterful working of precious metals and stones has translated dreams and visions into highly creative works. This is when Italian jewelry becomes a vibrant work of art. Through its participation in miart 2023, Club degli Orafi Italia aims to raise awareness among international buyers and art galleries, and to foster greater awareness of a unique heritage whose artistic investment potential remains unexplored. Thanks to indispensable support from the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), the Club degli Orafi Italia is pleased to welcome visitors to its stand, where an elegant selection of works will be on show, to give a tangible idea of the connection between the world of art and high-end Italian jewelry.” Giorgio Villa President Club degli Orafi Italia
The theme of the exhibition is the concept of the double or of the interior | exterior, and how it links jewelry and art.
The selected pieces comprise items of art jewelry, jewelry inspired by art, and artfully made jewelry, whose value resides in both their tangible and intangible qualities.
Double Face refers to a textile production technique that results in a fabric with two “right” sides; thanks to this high-end process, both sides are of equal aesthetic value.
The back, the side usually hidden and neglected, thus becomes a protagonist on a par with the front, giving the piece a double value.
Double Face is not just a metaphor or a narrative device but an interpretative approach that makes it possible to examine and reflect on the “double” nature of the jewelry on display.
The exhibits can be appreciated on two levels: as expressions both of their tangible qualities as jewelry, associated with the use of precious materials and production techniques, and of their intangible qualities, namely those of creativity, innovation, experimentation and contamination, where art is the unifying element, inviting us to reflect on the concept of “precious” in the contemporary world.
Double \ Face
The theme of the double is central to the arts, where it can take on various guises, depending on the artistic and cultural context in which it is represented.
From Titian, Anish Kapoor, Salvador Dalí, Cindy Sherman and Jan Vermeer, to Claes Oldenburg, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Marina Abramovic, there are numerous artists who throughout history have explored the concept of the double as a way of looking at identity, but also at the invisible, the spiritual, illusions and shadows.
In jewelry, the theme of the double has not met with similar exegetical success, probably because, historically, items of jewelry have tended to be one-sided, with their preciousness based on the splendor of their materials – gems and metals – or craftsmanship.
Precious gems and artistic craftsmanship represent the tangible qualities of traditional jewelry, which can be seen in all civilizations and periods of history. In the contemporary world jewelry has acquired new values and meanings, with intangible qualities such as creativity, experimentation, contamination, and authorship being considered precious.
Art jewelry in fact originated with figurative artists who considered jewelry as a form of wearable art, and as one of the many media available to express their creative voice.
In this art there is none of the desire for ornament we see in mainstream jewelry or fashion jewelry, but nor does it embody any social, religious, or political symbolism, or perform the apotropaic functions typical of jewelry in its various contexts since prehistory. The value of these creations is in the creator’s artistic thought, research and experimentation.
The works have been selected for their Double-Faced nature, in terms of tangible and intangible qualities, for their artistic ability to express precious gems and techniques, but also ideas, concepts, and unconventional landscapes of the contemporary world.
The items of jewelry on display encompass artistic concepts developed from multiple perspectives. Some are the expression of important joint projects with artists such as Gio’ Pomodoro, who has created jewelry for Cesari & Rinaldi Gemmai and UNOAERRE, and Sergio Fermariello, creator of the bracelet for de’Nobili, who here interpreted their respective experiments in the medium of jewelry with results of great interest and quality. Other exhibits draw their inspiration from art, as in the Puzzle Arlecchino earrings by Mattioli, inspired by Pointillism and the Carnival of Miró, or the enveloping creations by Vhernier, which evoke the elegant, soft shapes of the sculptures by Constantin Brancusi, Max Bill or Barbara Hepworth, or the transformable necklace by Alfredo Correnti, inspired by the sinuosity of Art Nouveau. These pieces explore artistic experimentation, as in the Wave Carpet bracelet by Angeletti, where the ancient tradition of jewelry meets the innovation of new materials, or the coral skull by Liverino, which is transformed into a sculpture.
Eight artists offer Double-Faced interpretations of the relationship between art and jewelry with a single common denominator: they are all meetings of jewelry and artistry.
- Alfredo Correnti
- Cesari & Rinaldi Gemmai
- Liverino 1894
Alba Cappelieri, Ph.D.
Academic, curator and author, Full Professor of Jewelry and Fashion Accessories Design at the Polytechnic University of Milan, where she is director of the international post-graduate course in Jewelry&Accessories: Design, Management, Communication.
From 2013 to 2016 she taught Design for Innovation at Stanford University. She is a member of the academic committee for the Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels in Paris, the Gijs Bakker Foundation in Amsterdam, the Cologni Foundation in Milan, the Altagamma Giovani Imprese award in Milan, and the De Beers New Talents Awards in Gaborone. She was appointed Ambassador of Italian Design for the Italian Design Day in Osaka in 2017, in Sydney in 2018, in Baku in 2019, in Miami in 2020, in Rabat in 2021, in Hamburg in 2022, and in Cyprus in 2023.
In 2014 she founded the Museo del Gioiello in the Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza, and remained the museum’s curator until 2021.
She provides research, curatorship and con sultancy services for major international jewelry manufacturers and institutions, including: Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany, Bulgari, Buccellati, De Beers, Cartier, Pomellato, Chantecler, Roberto Coin, Intisars, Shiphra, and Recarlo.
She has curated numerous international exhibitions and her most recent publications include:
Buccellati – A century of timeless beauty (Assouline 2021); Bulgari | Serpenti – The Power of Metamorphosis (Silvana Editoriale 2021); Diva! Italian Glamour in Fashion Jewellery (Silvana Editoriale 2021); Cleto Munari – Jewelry Design (Manfredi 2021), with M. Pirola; Talenti Italiani: mente, ma- no, macchina (Marsilio 2020); Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love (Skira 2019); Jewellery, From Art Nouveau to 3D Printing (Skira 2018); Chains. Jewellery in history, function and ornament (Silvana Editoriale 2018); Brilliant (Corraini 2016), with M.Romanelli; Italian Design Meets Jewellery (Marsilio 2013).