Art Basel is a modern and contemporary art fair held annually since 1970 in Basel. Since 2002 the Basel fair also produces a winter edition, which takes place every year in December in Miami, as Art Basel Miami Beach. The brainchild of gallery owners and collectors Trudl Bruckner, Balz Hilt and Ernst e Hildy Beyeler, has emerged over the years as an important international event not only in terms of the art market, but also of artistic research.
More than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of modern art up to the last generation of emerging stars, are represented in more than one section of the fair. The Fair includes all forms of artistic expression such as painting, drawing, installation, photography, performance and video art… and also jewelry found its own space among the greatest exponents of artistic research and design.
Of course, for jewelry is a hard and demanding contest, governed by a complicated market.
However, some gallery have the strength and the courage to present their research. The Italian Antonella Villanova is missing this year at Design Miami. She was already engaged in another big enterprise, the organization of a solo exhibition dedicated to Maestro Manfred Bishop, at the MAEC Cortona
Without doubt one of the great masters of contemporary jewelry, Bischoff used his keen imagination to transform sheets of gold into a theater full of characters that seem to have sprung from everyday life.
The exhibition at the MAEC, more an homage than a true anthological show, is the first one dedicated to this great master to be held in a public space in Italy, and brings together works from European and American collections.
Another Italian gallerist, Elisabetta Cipriani, however, is showing her selection of artist jewelry.
The highlight of the exhibition is the presentation of Segments of Light, a new body of one-of-a-kind pieces by the renowned Italian artist Giorgio Vigna.
These works focus on combining full and empty forms that manifest the primary and primordial aspects of nature. The segment is the starting point of the creation of these works; it moves, multiplies, draws paths and expands in imaginary universes that dialogue with natural forms. Distinct forms in the shape of earrings, brooches, bracelets and rings are made of 18kt yellow gold, oxidized silver, copper and diamonds.
Works by Adel Abdessemed, Jannis Kounellis, Ifeanyi Oganwu, Giulio Paolini, Frank Stella, Ai Weiwei and Erwin Wurm amongst others, as well as fabulous furniture by the Campana Brothers, were also shown.
Not to be missed the proposal made by Ornamentum Gallery, a compendium of poetry, which exhibits a dynamic collection of contemporary jewelry as well as related objects and artworks.
Whether based in material experimentation, conceptual content or a combination of both, the work exhibited by Ornamentum must challenge conventions and be absolutely individual in content and form.
The exhibition in Miami is a very special presentation of Lost Causes - David Clarke & Jaydan Moore.
David Clarke has long been the key figure in British smithing, at least at its avant-garde extremity.
Silver has a large role in the hands of both Clarke and Moore.
Clarke, original representative of the decadence of the age of Enlightenment and exponent of a romantic, contemporary and nihilistic vision of common beauty ideals, likes to provoke the aesthetics overpowering the classical canons, while Moore exalts them, by bringing the classic back to life through a new vision.
They depart from a common territory to then explore different paths.
Among the artists of Ornamentum, the work by Ted Noten is exemplar for originality, research and irony, but also for his scenographic and theatrical approach, fashion vocation, almost tenth to the advertising.
Two small sculptures, referencing Noten's iconic acrylic handbags in form, Homage to Hieronymus Bosch pay tribute to the bizarre and fantastical narratives of the Dutch painter together with Noten’s grounding in the jewelry world, also evident in his newest work Drawer Delight, finished just in time for Miami.
At Design Miami jewelry is also playful and participatory activity at the booth of Cora Sheibani, who offers the opportunity for the public to interact with the exhibition space itself and play the walls, characterized by a pattern of jewels, contributing to the final design of the space.
Perhaps as a reminder that the jewel is also game, fun and illusion.