The Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris presents MEDUSA, an exhibition taking a contemporary and unprecedented look at jewellery, unveiling a number of taboos.
Just like the face of Medusa in Greek mythology, a piece of jewellery attracts and troubles the person who designs it, looks at it or wears it. While it is one of the most ancient and universal forms of human expression, jewellery has an ambiguous status, mid-way between fashion and sculpture, and is rarely considered to be a work of art. Indeed, it is often perceived as too close to the body, too feminine, precious, ornamental or primitive.
But it is thanks to avant-garde artists and contemporary designers that it has been reinvented, transformed and detached from its own traditions.
In the wake of the museum’s series of joint and cross-disciplinary exhibitions, such as “L’Hiver de l’Amour”, “Playback” and “Decorum”, MEDUSA questions the traditional art boundaries by reconsidering, with the complicity of artists, the questions of craftsmanship, decoration, fashion and pop culture.
The exhibition brings together over 400 pieces of jewellery: created by artists (Anni Albers, Man Ray, Meret Oppenheim, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali, Louise Bourgeois, Lucio Fontana, Niki de Saint Phalle, Fabrice Gygi, Thomas Hirschhorn, Danny McDonald, Sylvie Auvray…), avant-garde jewellery makers and designers (René Lalique, Suzanne Belperron, Line Vautrin, Art Smith, Tony Duquette, Bless, Nervous System…), contemporary jewellery makers (Gijs Bakker, Otto Künzli, Karl Fritsch, Dorothea Prühl, Seulgi Kwon, Sophie Hanagarth…) and also high end jewelers (Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Victoire de Castellane, Buccellati…), as well as anonymous, more ancient or non-Western pieces (including prehistorical and medieval works, punk and rappers’ jewellery as well as costume jewellery etc .).
These pieces, well-known or little-known, unique, familiar, handmade, mass-produced, or computer made, mix refined, hand-wrought, amateur and even futuristic aesthetics which are rarely associated together. They sometimes go far beyond simple jewellery and explore other means of engaging with, and putting on, jewellery.
The exhibition is organized around four themes with a specific display for each: Identity, Value, Body and Instruments. Each section starts from the often negative preconceptions surrounding jewellery in order to better deconstruct them, and finally reveal jewellery’s underlying subversive and performative potential.
Fifteen works and installations by contemporary artists (Mike Kelley, Leonor Antunes, Jean-Marie Appriou, Lucy McKenzie, Liz Craft…) dot the exhibition, echoing the themes of its various sections. The works presented question related issues of decoration and ornament, and anchor our connection to jewellery within a broadened relationship to the body and the world.
Curator: Anne Dressen
In collaboration with Michèle Heuzé and Benjamin Lignel, scientific advisors
with John Armleder, Sylvie Auvray, Bless, Sonia Boyajian, Liz Craft, Ligia Dias, Rebekah Frank, Lydia, GianCarlo Montebello, Mai-Thu Perret and Oscar Tuazon
Because we believe that art and design are « Coco Chanel and Max Bill driving a Matra 530 customized by Sonia Delaunay », we are pleased to launch The Corner Piece.
The first edition of The Corner Piece will take place at Independent Brussels in April 2017. The Corner Piece N°1 will show candy jewelry designed by a dancer, a rubber stamp by a renowned artist, brushes made of real hair, some metal nose neckpiece, after Sol Lewitt brooches forged in San Francisco, a replica of the Peggy Guggenheim’s famous Calder earrings, a pocket knife with family jewels, aluminium rings on enameled trees, gilded styrofoam objects of ornementation and red shoe laces by a living legend.
The Corner Piece is a play on words referring to the store and the exhibition. The project wishes to be interdisciplinary and puts together conceptual and craft practices. The principle is to invite artists and designers according to productions they have made within or at the edge of their framework.
The Corner Piece has no specified visual identity. See you under the light of an abstract neon piece by Mai-Thu Perret!
The Corner Piece is a project curated by Paris based designer Ligia Dias.
VANDERBORGHT BUILDING Schildknaapstraat 50 Rue de l’Ecuyer, 1000 Brussels
PRIVATE VIEWING (By invitation) Wednesday, April 19
Oscar Tuazon, Untitled, 2017, pocket knife. Edition on subscription
L'Esprit du Bauhaus 2016
The exhibition begins by exploring the Bauhaus’s sources, ranging from the organization of the construction of the cathedrals and the arts of Asia to the German avant-garde, the British Arts & Crafts movement and the Viennese utopias, including the Wiener Werkstätte.
Like a Bauhaus student, the visitor will follow all the stages of the Bauhaus teaching program, from the preliminary course, designed to break down academic ideas and open the student’s mind, to work in the various specialized workshops. For four years, the student followed a both practical and theoretical curriculum. This section of the exhibition covers the production of all the Bauhaus workshops from 1919 to 1933: furniture, ceramics, metal, stained glass, mural painting, sculpture in wood and stone, weaving, typography, advertising, photography, theatre, etc.
The Bauhaus’s legacy has been considerable, and although its influence pervaded all fields of creation from 1933, spread by the teachers and students who fled Germany, the exhibition focuses on its most recent echoes. At the museum’s invitation, the artist Mathieu Mercier has chosen creations by forty-nine artists, designers, graphic designers and fashion designers, all born after 1960 and who, like him, are working in the Bauhaus spirit, seeing no distinction between art and the applied arts.
Magazine celebrates the fragile aspect of a periodical. By turning the pages of PARIS, LA magazine into a unique bracelet, jewelry maker Ligia Dias confirms her interest in traditional and industrial materials, as well as her ability to combine luxury and natural attributes in one single object. Cut, gilded with 22-carat gold leaf, drilled, and held between two leather bands, Magazine becomes a transformed, illegible book that can either be worn on the wrist or placed on display.
Art Since the Summer of ’69 is proud to present a special project, Name-Dropping, by Ligia Dias. Known for her precisely built Bauhaus themed jewelry, and collaborations with Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz and Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo, this is Dias’ first solo show in a gallery, and the first extensive presentation of her work in New York.
Ligia describes her work as “Coco Chanel and Max Bill driving a Matra 530 customized by Sonia Delaunay". She founded her namesake jewelry label in 2005, and continues to collaborate with artists, including Karina Bisch and Mai-Thu Perret.
At Art Since the Summer of ’69, Dias will exhibit a series of jewelry, each inspired by a specific work of art: Among others, Philippe is a neck piece made of a recycled painted-on t-shirt by the artist himself, Barbara a pink crocodile leather bracelet maintained by metal bars. Anni is a modest, yet timeless, necklace made of metal washers and black ribbon. Robert M. is made from a slashed black leather neck piece pierced with silver spikes. All pieces are unique, one-of-a-kind.
The necklace Cindy is a special edition by Ligia Dias for Art Since the Summer of ‘69. For this jewelry piece, Dias updates her classic ‘Pendu’ necklace. She accepts pearl necklaces and pearls, real or fake and sews them onto a rope with a noose. This edition is named Cindy thanks to Cindy Sherman’s participation to Ligia’ s project. During the duration of the exhibition, anyone who wants their own Cindy can drop off their pearls and Ligia will then re-ensemble them, for a flat rate, into the same design, providing a “re-birth” to the strand of pearls.
Cindy, 2010, natural pearls, cotton and stainless steel. Private collection, New York. This piece is a tribute to the work of artist and photographer Cindy Sherman.
Anni, 2005, polyester and stainless steel. This piece is a tribute to Bauhaus artist Anni Albers.
Max, 2009, bronze. Private collection, Los Angeles. This piece is a tribute to the work of Concrete artist Max Bill.
Barbara, 2011, alligator skin, vegetable-tanned leather, brass and stainless steel. This piece is a tribute to the work of Abstract artist Barbara Hepworth.
Lynda, 2010, silicon, glitters, crystal, sterling silver and stainless steel. This piece is a tribute to the work of American artist Lynda Benglis.
Carl, 2010, brass, sterling silver and stainless steel. Private collection, Paris. This piece is a tribute to the work of Minimal artist Carl André.
Felix, 2010, candies, crystal, sterling silver and stainless steel. This piece is a tribute to the work of Minimal and Conceptual artist Felix Gonzales-Torres.
Dan G., 2010, Palladium-platted brass. Private collection, Paris. This piece is a tribute to the work of Minimal artist Dan Graham.
Robert M., 2010, leather, steel, sterling silver and stainless steel. This piece is a tribute to the work of Minimal artist Robert Morris.
Philippe, 2010, cotton, acrylic paints, Palladium-platted brass, sterling silver and stainless steel. Private collection, Paris. This piece is a tribute to the work of Kinetic artist Philippe Decrauzat.
Robert S., 2010, cotton, crystal, Silver-platted brass, sterling silver and stainless steel. Private collection, New York. This piece is a tribute to the work of Land Art artist Robert Smithson.
Dan F., 2010, phosphorescent tubes. This piece is a tribute to the work of Minimal artist Dan Flavin.
Steven, 2010, rubber, onyx, Palladium-platted brass, sterling silver and stainless steel. Private collection, Paris. This piece is a tribute to the work of American artist Steven Parrino.
Migros Museum 2010
MM, 2010, leather, plated brass, stainless steel, engraved perspex and plated pewter.
Identification pass of the museum staff. Commission.