Modern art earrings
Ln October 20, 1942, Peggy Guggenheim inaugurated her gallery in New York called Art of this Century. It was this pioneer, collector and patron who left his mark on 20th century arte century, opting to wear mismatched earrings “looks [s]about the impartiality between surrealism and abstract art”. On the one hand, the mysterious, microscopic oil is painted by Yves Tanguy. On the other hand, a small 8 cm × 16 cm mobile phone made of brass and silver thread, signed Alexander Calder.
Calder’s partner Peggy Guggenheim would wear them a lot. In photographs taken in Venice, New York or London, it is not uncommon to see her face framed by these two phones playing with light and movement. The art of recycling, the play of balance, the enjoyment of curves and rounded shapes: Calder’s jewelery – 1,800 pieces, most of which were offered to his relatives – is part of the same plastics vocabulary as his sculptural work.
Silverwork and artistic creation have long been intertwined until the 16the century painters and sculptors began to be considered artists, while goldsmiths remained craftsmen. in XXe century, rapprochement occurred at the same time that art and fashion connected, especially through Elsa Schiaparelli. Close to the surrealists, the Italian gives all his fantasy to jewelry, in particular launching Plexiglas earrings and collaborating with Cocteau, Dalí or Man Ray…
But, in the artist’s jewelry department, her other collaborators play a decisive role. Self-taught goldsmith François Hugo (great-grandson of Victor) would create for the greatest – Max Ernst, Derain, Picasso… Often unique pieces, intended for their loved ones and sometimes, less frequently, very limited editions (which do not miss era and is still branded with the name Ateliers Hugo).
With these gems, then, sculpture is created for wear where carat and stone are less important than creative movement and form, the vehicle of emotion. In 1919, legend has it that Man Ray took out of a trash can a large, turned inside out piece of paper, the shape of which pleased him. This “object of affection”, accredited by some as the first moving statue, will be the subject of a photograph (lampshade, 1920), later corrugated iron suspension prototypes were produced in several copies in the 1960s and, finally, by changing the scale, earrings.
It is this brushed gold spiral that we find Catherine Deneuve wearing in a series of photographs taken in the artist’s studio in Paris in 1968. We see the face of the actress framed by this large frame. pending locket. On the chessboard table, in the foreground, Deneuve looks at a very large old book that Man Ray turned into a jewelry box. A chance to remember what could be an advertising slogan, but also, oddly enough, a truth: every gem tells a story. In this, here, the unknown piece of art history.