Say the names of popular 20th-century artists like Jeff Koons, Man Ray, Anish Kapoor and a definite image will definitely pop up in art lovers’ minds. Predictably, this may be of their most famous artworks. Like Kapoor’s Chicago Cloud Gate or Koons’ Balloon Dog.
But this pop-up highlights wearable jewellery designed by these established artists. Named ‘Sculpture to Wear,’ it will be shown from August 3 – 28th at Sotheby’s 66 Newtown Lane selling gallery. On display will be 80 rare pieces created by more than 28 painters, sculptors and photographers.
The project is a collaboration between Louisa Guinness of Louisa Guinness Gallery, London, and Tiffany Dubin of Sotheby’s, New York. Guinness is a pioneer in artist jewellery. She even curated a 2003 London landmark exhibition ‘Past and Present: Jewellery by 20th Century Artists.’ Guinness recognised that artists, especially sculptors, understood dimensions and aspects, leading to the knowledge of how to design wearable pieces.
This jewellery goes beyond the scope of traditional ornaments and expands these artists’ distinct style of work into something with can be worn. “Some people would like a Picasso on their walls,” says Guinness, “others prefer to wear one.”
While works by major artists are scarce, and often buried deep in the private inventory of collectors; these mini works of art are more portable and now, accessible. The lot includes stunning pieces like an American kinetic sculptor, Alexander Calder’s one-of-a-kind Brass Brooch from 1940. Though you cannot get your hands on Jeff Koons’ 3-foot Rabbit sculpture, the platinum pendant of the same design is part of the exhibit. Koons’ silver bunny sculpture sold for more than $91 million at Christie’s, making it the most expensive for work by a living artist sold at auction.
In a press statement, Tiffany Dubin of Sotheby’s mentions her favourites include Anish Kapoor’s Water Rings, more specifically the one with a pink enamelled interior. Her dream work is Man Ray’s Les Amoureux necklace with a removable pendant that detaches to form a brooch. It was created in 1970 and inspired by his 1936 painting The Lovers.
The pieces are signed and are either one-of-a-kind or of limited edition. Each piece comes with its display support. According to Guinness, “keeping such jewellery in a drawer when not worn would be an absolute waste of art; why not enjoy it as a decorative piece?” Upcoming projects also include a second Pop-up in Palm Beach right after Thanksgiving, a Pop Up in New York for the fall, as well as, in London and Taipei; all celebrating unique jewellery artists working in Wearable Art.