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MATERIALS AND COLORInternational Group Exhibition curated by Noel Guyomarc’h

Sculpture to Wear – International Contemporary Art Jewelry
@ Bergamot Station Art Center, 2525 Michigan Ave. #C2, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Show Dates: September 7th to October 12th, 2002
Opening Reception: September 14th, 5-7pm

VIEW COLLECTION

"MATERIALS AND COLOR" is an exhibition curated by Noel Guyomarc’h (owner of Galerie Noel in Montreal); brings together a roster of international jewelry artists linked through their fresh approaches to their craft and also through their use of non-traditional materials and their emphasis on color. With rectangles of grass serving as the display window’s lining and the gallery’s doormat, Guyomarc’h gives notice to people before they even enter to put aside their preconceptions as to what jewelry is or what it should be.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Daniel Jocz, the eternal experimenter, has pioneered the adaptation of the technique of flocking to jewelry. His “Candy Wear” series consists of exuberantly colored, rayon-flocked sterling silver X and O brooches and bracelets with balls perched randomly and precariously on their surface. To the untrained eye, their fuzzy rayon exterior, joyfulness and relation to fashion may belie what lies underneath but the bracelets especially, with well-integrated hidden magnets holding the two pieces together are evidence of Jocz’s technical virtuosity. Deborah Krupenia, also from Cambridge, creates her limited palette of colors by applying patinas to traditional Japanese alloys, many of which she makes herself and then patterns with silver and gold using the marriage-of-metals technique. Her exquisite work is an exploration of formal concerns: line, texture, shape and color.

In Seattle, Maria Phillips fabricates organic forms that arise out of her "obsession with time and the aging process"1. These are often electroformed and have sensitive and lushly textured, dented and veined colored enamel surfaces. In Great Britain, Sarah Crawford challenges herself by constantly choosing new materials with which to work, in this case Formica and acrylic; she then explores possible ways of constructing jewelry using these elements. The pale pastel-colored works, with titles such as Nibbled Leaf, are playful, with an almost cartoon-like look. They are also richly patterned through Crawford’s layering of materials, scattering of silver rivets and her contrasting of smooth areas with others shot through with drilled holes.

As for the Quebec contingent, Montrealer, Morgane Guilcher has created a series of dramatic, richly colored, sensuous neckpieces of blobs and tendrils of molten glass. Anne Fauteux is as playful and inventive as ever, with her tangle of stuffed and sewn felt neckpieces that can be transformed into bracelets or bent any-which-way depending on the desire of the owner. Catherine Bechard’s well-designed pieces from her “Specimen” series speak compellingly of captured moments. Each consists of several sterling silver compartments, one of which usually contains a colorful, tiny human figure performing an activity of daily living -suspended in time (actually in resin). Josee Desjardins continues to explore diverse materials in inventive ways. Her “Pacifier” series of pendants for adults is especially strong and certainly relevant to these times; the nipples are made of glass or other such hard substances. One pendant uses an actual pacifier nipple but this is set with a stone thereby rendering it, like the others, unsuckable and not at all able to soothe.
Enid Kaplan exhibits her “Talking Sticks”, large assemblages of found objects combined with her familiar imagery. The work demonstrates her firsthand knowledge of and affinity with tribal cultures; it speaks of her personal voyage both as an artist and a woman. Christian Chauveau shows three rings, which combine wood and sterling silver in interesting compositions. Tara Markus’ pendants from her architectural series are intriguing sculptural pieces. British Columbian, Bridget Catchpole makes work whose silver surfaces have areas covered in tiny holes from which sprout such materials as synthetic bristles and colored monofilament.

In Toronto, Paul McClure continues to be inspired by the human organism, using petrie dishes for his effective presentation of brooches that represent different types of cells, many of which are coated with colored resin. Other brooches from his “Cytoskeleton” series serve as markers of human mortality; as such they are fittingly
complex and dark, their wire armatures serving them much as our skeletons do us. Vivienne Jones’ delicate and intricate personal assemblages tend to draw viewers in, inviting them to guess at the artist’s intent or perhaps prompting them to dream. Lily Yung shows work that goes down a couple of different avenues. Her sculptural pieces, knitted out of stainless steel wire peppered with colored beads, are elegant and fashionable; her beaded work culminates in a large but delicate two-dimensional collar of multi-colored loops held closed by a cloud of gossamer ribbon.

Moira Roe creates packaging for her colorful and very wearable brooches and rings, presenting a well-integrated body of work which comments succinctly on societal conventions. In Rhode Island, Joan Parcher also snubs her nose at expectations, creating brightly colored enameled brooches out of the lids of tin cans so that the ordinary becomes anything but. Parcher also exhibits more muted pieces whose surfaces are subtly patterned with varying colors and tones of fused glass beads.

Efharis Alepedis, who lives in Sommerville, Massachusetts, has participated with two very different bodies of work. Two wall-mounted rectangular wood-and-glass boxes each contain a row of non-wearable finger rings fashioned from objects in nature and somewhat altered with wax and color pigments; the resulting specimens are exquisitely beautiful and sensitive. They sit in great contrast to the brightly colored pieces Alepedis has constructed from sterling silver combined with orange earplugs, latex sheet and blue string. While many are successful, some suffer from less than stringent finishing. Zuzanna Rudavska, from Slovakia but living in Brooklyn, employs textile techniques to fabricate her large-scale fashionable wire pieces. They get their color through the use of various metals in combination with pearls and stones.

Another Massachusetts resident, Alyssa Dee Krauss has submitted three seemingly unrelated pieces: an extra-long sterling silver chain of dots and dashes from her “Morse Code” series, a blackened, permeable bowl-like object of pressed wire and a ring made of beautifully expressive bark lined with fur. Knowing that Krauss is inspired by "the potential of jewelry as Metaphor", one can link these pieces and see them as a commentary on the aging process - which our society seems more and more to want to deny. In this reading the sleek chain titled, “I Sing the Body Electric” is brash youth; the enveloping vessel "Yearning” is middle-age, nurturing even while becoming more vulnerable; the “Inside Ring” is old age, embodying the complexity and craggy beauty that only time can bestow.
Once again, kudos to Noel for his staunch dedication to the promotion and sale of art jewelry. He has assembled an exhibition that has stimulated Montrealers by exposing them to new and challenging work.

Article by: Barbara Stutman, a jeweler living in Montreal and participant in "MATERIALS AND COLOR".

Direct exhibition inquiries to Lisa M. Berman, Visionary Proprietor of Sculpture to Wear Telephone (310) 829-9960, Fax (310) 829-9860