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REVIEW The Netherlands and the cradle of art jewelry

The Netherlands is a privileged place for contemporary jewelry and the cradle of a great patrimony, where innovations and some of the most important players in Europe and worldwide come from.

Sieraad for instance, now in its 15 years of activity, is a trade-oriented fair, well structured and organized, very varied in the proposal. Design, experimentation, contemporary jewelry, research, goldsmithing and tradition coexist next to each other in a sometimes-unconvincing attempt.

Some beautiful interpretations come from the Italian jewelry designer Chiara Scarpitti, whose work is now well known and widespread, insatiable in her projects, researches and experiments between craftsmanship and industry, humanity and technology.

She loves to mix symbolism and narrative representation, kaleidoscopic geometries and the delicacy of the tissues.

The history of artistic jewel is especially made elsewhere.

In fact some of the most important European galleries, like MARZEE, operate at the highest level.

MARZEE, more than a gallery is a Museum that makes history.

Not only the exhibitions capture the attention, but also drawers and cabinets full of collectible pieces, which should be studied, analyzed, contextualized, isolated.

The Iris Bodemer temporary exhibition, held until January 11th, welcomes the visitor on the ground floor. Stylization and formal primitivism belong to her artistic language, spurious and naive. The matter in her creations is overlapped to uneven and coarse backgrounds, from which crude and rough surfaces emerge.

Childishness, naiveté and abstraction characterize her necklaces taking almost facial expressions and human portraits forms.

Another gallery that has marked the history of contemporary jewelry is Galerie RA, whose omnipresence, inside and outside the fair, is confirmed by the exhibition that summarizes the 40 years of activity: a unique legacy of styles, designs, technical influences and universes.

Inside the fair a cross section of 40 years of art jewelry from Paul Derrez stable features makers as well as wearers.

At Galerie RA, between many incredible and stunning pieces, Gesine Hackenberg impressed me for her use of classic codes to reinterpret everyday objects, giving them another life and shape.

She mainly uses craft techniques and different materials as ceramic tableware, (precious) metal, Japanese Urushi lacquer and glassware. These usually come from interlocking themes of household, kitchen, table and food culture.

A very different esthetic, technique and collection are presented by Louise Seijen ten Hoorn(Netherlands, 1977).

She works predominantly in metal, using traditional methods as well as technology to create jewelry, objects and sculptures.

Metal offers her the contradictory possibility to make things appear both cold and rigid as well as soft and fluid at the same time.

The body is the main subject, treated here as a metaphysical element and distorted in its shapes. Transfigured, cut and then put back together in a enigmatic manner, mentioning somehow the biomorphic surrealism of Bacon, even if in a more candid way.

She plays with weights, balance and illusions creating spiritual and ethereal compositions.

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