Claude Lelanne, Man Ray, Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Niki de Saint Phalle, among artists showing jewelry at Sotheby’s East Hampton this August; a collaboration between Tiffany Dubin and Louisa Guinness.
Louisa Guinness knows some prefer a Picasso on their walls while others prefer to wear one. The London-based gallerist helps those who prefer to wear one, do so. Louisa is a pioneer in artist jewelry, having established it as a field in its right, beginning with her 2003 London landmark exhibition Past and Present: Jewelry by 20th Century Artists. Collecting pieces by 20th-century masters and collaborating with contemporary artists, Louisa recognized that artists, especially sculptors, understood three dimensions and had a special facility for designing wearable pieces. They bring a fresh approach to materials and techniques while creating more intimate and often very different versions of their signature artworks. ”These works challenge and expand traditional ways of wearing and seeing jewelry. The collectors who choose these pieces have a thoughtful relationship to the objects they acquire and a real personal appreciation when they wear them.”
Man Ray’s Le Trou, a ring, was designed to change the wearer’s perceptions of their surroundings, keeping with the surrealists’ goal of altering everyday reality. Alexander Calder’s one-of-a-kind Brass Brooch from 1940 is any collector’s prize. Jeff Koon’s platinum Rabbit pendant has a chameleon quality, a symbol of Resurrection and Easter or a sign of Playboy, or something else. It invites multiple interpretations, also standing alone as a strong small sculpture.
This summer Louisa will collaborate with Tiffany Dubin of Sotheby’s to bring a new exhibition of artist jewelry to the Hamptons. Sculpture To Wear will be on view and for sale the entire month of August at Sotheby’s East Hampton. Works by Niki de Saint Phalle, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Claude Lalanne, Man Ray, and Jesús Rafael Soto, to name a few.
The pair want to help others curate their own artist jewelry collections. “The discerning collector understands that they can own a masterpiece created at a human scale.” offers Tiffany. “Claude Lalanne’s has always been a favorite; Venezuelan Op and Kinetic artist Jesús Rafael Soto’s works are magnificent; British Contemporary artist Christopher Thompson Roys is another standout. The Water Rings by artist Anish Kapoor are any woman’s dream (I’ll take mine in 18k white gold with a pink enameled interior), and Rob Wynne’s Octopus ring would set my summer on the right path. I like the idea of these pieces being a distilled version of an artist’s sculpture on a smaller scale. It is portable or more easily experienced by more people when worn out. The experience of someone seeing these pieces as a brooch or earrings allows them to get closer and really appreciate the craftsmanship. The artist’s hand is felt and seen in more hand crafted pieces such as with Claude.”
“One of my favorites pieces from the collection is a William Copley necklace with naked girls running around. I was introduced to Copley’s work a few years back through an exhibit Adam Lindeman curated and was struck by his American Pop Art sensibility mixed with Surrealist humor and riffing sexuality. The necklace he made for Louisa Guinness shows his high style, with ten of his cartoonish figures suspended from a circular link chain. This is an object that can be played with and manipulated in various ways. I think this is the absolute expression of the artist’s DNA.”
“Most pieces at the exhibition are signed and are either one-of-a-kind or limited edition” says Louisa, “they can be worn AND exhibited as a piece of art. Each piece comes with its display support—keeping such jewelry in a drawer when not worn would be an absolute waste of art; why not enjoy it as a decorative piece?”
Sculpture to Wear will be shown in East Hampton August 3 – 28th at Sotheby’s selling gallery at 66 Newtown Lane; more than 80 works by artists including Ron Arad, Pol Bury, Alexander Calder, César, William Copley, Niki de Saint Phalle, Michael Craig-Martin, Max Ernst, Lucio Fontana, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Claude Lalanne, Mariko Mori, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Gio Pomodoro, Marc Quinn, Man Ray, Christopher Thompson Royds, Ed Ruscha, Conrad Shawcross, Cora Sheibani, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Jesús Rafael Soto, Gavin Turk, William Turnbull, Rob Wynne, and Sophia Vari.
This exhibition with Louisa follows Tiffany’s successful Sotheby’s Pop Up in Palm Beach with James de Givenchy’s Taffin Collection. They plan to continue celebrating wearable art through an international lens; first returning to Palm Beach in the Fall and continuing on to New York City, London and Taipei.