Monday, June 22, 2009

Today's Jewelry Exhibit - Ornament as Art , Avant Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection

It is going to be a summer of exhibits in Tacoma, Washington this year. The Tacoma Museum of Art will begin the first of its summer jewelry exhibits on June 6. The exhibit is called "Ornament as Art" and will feature the avant garde jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection. The museum will have the exhibit running until September 13, 2009.

Photo credit Tacoma Art Museum.

According to the museum, the exhibit is the first major exhibition of contemporary jewelry to fully explore its impact as a global art form. The exhibit draws from the collection of jewelry educator, gallerist and expert Helen Williams Drutt English.

Jewelry first started getting avant-garde in the 1960s, when designers such as Alexander Calder, Lucio Fontana and Salvador DalĂ­, far better known for their sculptures and paintings, made designs that forayed into the realm of jewelry. This exhibit is a reflection of that emerging trend.

Three distinct themes will be explored in this collection: Jewelry which tells a narrative, jewelry influenced by 20th century art movements and the interaction of jewelry and the body as a performance act.

The piece featured here is from the Ornament as Art exhibition and is by Dutch artist Gijs Bakker. It is called "Dewdrop" and is so lifelike, one can almost feel the morning dew. The neckpiece from 1982 consists of a giant photo of a red rose which is sandwiched in layers of PVC. There is a slit and hole in the middle of the flower so one can wear it around the neck. Not for everyone, but that is what avant garde is all about anyway. Should be an interesting exhibit.

The exhibition will be in tandem with another fascinating exhibit called "Loud Bones" which will feature the works of Nancy Worden. The Worden exhibit starts later but will also continue throughout the summer. I'll talk about it as it gets closer to the exhibition date.

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