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REVIEW – CORPO, MOVIMENTO, STRUTTURA. Contemporary jewelry and its construction

A very interesting exhibition has been hosted at MAXXI Museum in Rome with the idea to put in relationship contemporary jewelry with architecture, two different fields that share a common language made of design, connections, balance of weights and volumes.

The exhibition Corpo, Movimento, Struttura. Contemporary Jewelry and its construction curated by Domitilla Dardi showed works of six major designers of contemporary jewelry. Giampaolo Babetto, David Bielander, Helen Britton, Peter Chang, Monica Cecchi and Philip Sajet were invited to realize new creations interpreting six authors included in the MAXXI Architecture Collections: Vittorio De Feo, IaN+, Sergio Musmeci, Pier Luigi Nervi, Maurizio Sacripanti and Carlo Scarpa.

References to architecture and an analogy in construction on small and large scales are central elements in the work of the six major designers of contemporary jewelry presented in the exhibition. The jewels had been shown accompanied by their preparatory drawings that underlined the project analysis and the creation of unique pieces in relation with models, drawings and documentary material from specific architectural projects. Each jewel also becomes an occasion to discover the artist’s lexicon and his/her personal interpretation of the architectural world.

Gianpaolo Babetto is a great admirer of Carlo Scarpa and his influence is clear. The value of details is the main shared element between these two authors. In their work, the shape of the mass finds meaning in the presence of the void. The shape is an element from which to generate the construction and the definition of details.

The visionary architecture of Maurizio Sacripanti and his passion for metals inspired the work of David Bielander. He is a jewelry designer whose language uses figurative but also geometrical and abstract elements. He has a unique knowledge in the treatment of geometric meshes and grids and often the shapes of his works are composed from biomorphic and zoomorphic figure.

Helen Britton, the Australian designer, leads a research about “armature”, the internal metal support. She has investigated this concept throughout her professional career and created pieces combining the past and the present. On the occasion of this exhibition she investigated the architectural project of the reinforced-concrete boat designed by Pier Luigi Nervi.

Monica Cecchi realizes her jewels with vintage tin cans creating a personal language close to Pop art. Referring to Vittorio De Feo’s project for the ESSO service station, she created a collection dedicated to the advertising – automotive sector theme. The result of her work is a reflection on the communicative power of a brand as a symbol and its role as social icon in the contemporary language.

The association between IaN+ architects group and Peter Chang is based on a material affinity. The material used by the designer is resin as a malleable and versatile, is appropriate with his visionary hybridization research. Jewels created by the British designer of Chinese origin are always defined by the stratification of colored resin layers which create a fantastic imagery. The main object of Peter Chang’s work is the Chimera, the mythological animal born from the combination of different morphological elements.

A great identification is between Sergio Musmeci’s architecture and Phillip Sajet. He is a refined designer and give his jewels an extreme elegance of lines and strength to the structure. Referring to Sergio Musmeci’s meshes, Phillip Sajet created a small refined collection using a three-dimensional geometric construction.

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