A LETTER FROM THE AJF EDITOR
Hi. This is Ben Lignel, the new AJF editor, sitting in for Susan this month.
"How does this field work?" This question has guided the AJF since its inception. Choosing this question allows us to move away from defending the legitimacy of contemporary jewelry and focus on valid critical thinking. For the coming year, AJF's editorial board has decided to act on its intuition that critical redemption will not come from people outside the field but may be found in refining the tools we use to discuss this practice.
Taking this on board, we have decided to invite several people to report, react, or reflect on a single issue or event. These polyphonic articles are called the In Sight Series and will usually be published in close succession of one every week. To launch the series, we asked a maker, a curator, and a historian to discuss From the Coolest Corner. Märta Mattsson reported on the event as a visitor and exhibitor; Love Jönsson juried the main exhibition and took our written questions; and Liesbeth den Besten, who curated one of the shows, responded to a Skype interview after her return from Oslo. Mattsson, Jönsson, and den Besten went to Norway with a different job to do. It is our hope is that their differences in expertise and position are reflected in the texts, and together produce a varied, complex snapshot of the event. We also hope a certain amount of friction will arise from their overlapping voices.
Simultaneously, Interviews by Members was introduced to give you a voice in shaping AJF's original content. We value your unique perspectives, experiences, and thirst for knowledge. We hope you will ask many questions of our field of experts, and that you enjoy these two new formats.
Meanwhile, we are sharpening our minds for the upcoming "meet" in Munich. The official Schmuck program lists more than 80 events--roughly 62 more than is statistically possible for one person to see in three days. So, our editorial team at large (Susan Cummins, Marthe Le Van, and myself) have divided the city into three unequal parts and will be reporting, notepads in hand, on all there is to see whilst you sip your latte in the comfort of your heated living room. Incidentally, we just published a review by Bella Neiman on the Danner Rotunda. Why not have a quick read as a warm up before re-entry into the Schmuck-o-sphere?
On Thursday, March 7th at 7:30 pm, I will take a short break to have dinner with a group of AJF members and friends. This will be a nice occasion to have a quiet chat with people we seldom get a chance to meet face to face.
This month threatens to bring equal helpings of inspiration and frenzied scribbling, but I certainly look forward to the ride and hope you do, too.
Benjamin Lignel, Editor
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: New Board Member
|Liesbeth den Besten|
We have added another new member to our board, Liesbeth den Besten. She will bring a fresh and very well informed point of view to our policies and ambitions. Liesbeth den Bestin is a writer and historian from the Netherlands.
Her recent book On Jewellery: A Compendium on International Contemporary Art Jewellery (Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt, October 2011) is the most recent important text on contemporary jewelry.
CALENDAR ESPECIALLY FOR YOU: SNAG Conference
|SNAG Conference, Toronto|
The Society of North American Goldsmiths is holding their annual conference in Toronto, Canada from May 15-18, 2013.
The conference, titled "Meta-Mosaic," celebrates diverse activity in jewelry and metalsmithing in the twenty-first century.
For a conference overview and registration, visit
the SNAG website, and make your plans to go now.
Of special note: former AJF editor Damian Skinner will deliver a talk at the conference.
Don't miss it.
Amsterdam Trip CHANGE OF DATE
Rijksmuseum, photo Myra May
Due to high hotel charges and a lack of good rooms available in September, we have changed the dates of the AJF trip to Amsterdam.
The NEW DATES are OCTOBER 10-14.
Our main hotel is the Sofitel, located in the heart of the city.
Please let us know your interest, and make your reservations now for the best rates.
|Ed Weiner, The Dancer, 1950s, photo: Ragoarts|
Sotheby's 20th Century Design
March 6, New York, New York
Art Smith Half and Half, necklace, estimate $10-15K
Art Smith brooch/pendant, estimate $5-7K
Ed Wiener pendant and ring, estimate $5-7K
March 3, Lambertville, New York
Tapio Wirkkala necklace, Finland, 1978, estimate $1800-2400
Ed Wiener brooch, estimate $800-1200
Post War and Contemporary Art (107A), February 26, Munich, Germany
Tapio Wirkkala necklace, estimate 300-400 €
Daniel Kruger necklace, estimate 3800-4000 €
Daniel Kruger necklace, estimate 2400-2600 €
Daniel Kruger necklace, estimate 2800-3000 €
Peter Bauhuis necklace, estimate 12,000-15,000 €
Peter Bauhuis gold necklace, estimate 20,000-25,000 €
INTERVIEW BY MEMBERS:
The Editor Will Take Your Questions
|Benjamin Lignel, photo: Roger Laute|
AJF members are representative of the contemporary jewelry field at large. They are a mixed bunch of collectors, curators, makers, teachers, writers, and the 153 possible combinations thereof. (Few--if any--in this field are doing just one thing.)
But, we believe it was a shared passionate interest in contemporary jewelry that prompted you to become a member of AJF. We assume you spend a sizable amount of your time looking at other platforms, reading books and reviews we have not read, seeing exhibitions we will not see--basically shaping an independent point of view on what contemporary jewelry might be.
Interview by Members was launched because we value your perspective. We want to provide a conduit so you can ask questions you think are relevant. Our first (in-house) guest is new AJF editor Benjamin Lignel. He fielded six questions, and being French, rambled on as if he was answering 12.
Our next guest will be Wolfgang Lösche, aka "the man behind Schmuck." Very soon, you will be receiving a letter inviting you to send your questions, and we will publish his answers soon after the Munich extravaganza.
We hope you enjoy this format and will take an active part in the conversation.
|Maurer-Zilioli Contemporary Arts, photo Ellen Maurer-Zilioli|
Ellen Maurer-Zilioli of Maurer-Zilioli Contemporary Arts
in Brescia, Italy answers questions posed by Kellie Riggs. The gallery is run by Ellen and her husband Claudio.
Kellie Riggs: The title of your gallery indicates that it is for the contemporary arts, yet you include contemporary jewelry. Do you make a distinction between fine art and art jewelry, or do you consider them as one?
Ellen Maurer-Zilioli: In my opinion, it is not correct to automatically speak of art when you talk about contemporary jewelry, but of course there is always an interaction between them. For our exhibitions, I only take positions where it is absolutely necessary to underline the artistic impact of jewelry as art. I am an art historian and have been active for many years in the state museums of Munich, so I will always keep this connection and try to combine and interweave artistic and jewelry positions, design and crafts.
MEET THE COLLECTORS
Collector Pascale Gallien is interviewed jointly by Damian Skinner and Ben Lignel about her collection, which Damian describes as "jewelry that subtly protests against societal expectations as to what jewelry will look like and be made of."
Damian Skinner: So, you would draw a distinction because you are purchasing an object for its emotional relationship to you in the act of wearing, as opposed to purchasing it to fit with another piece you bought 10 years ago.
Pascale Gallien: Indeed. I never approach things in that kind of way. I just look at jewelry because, of course, I am attracted to the piece itself, the materials used, and the format. I like minimalist jewelry. The baroque things are not for me. I would not buy them. They may be pieces I could admire, but I would never wear them, and if I don't wear them, I don't buy them. Read more...
|AJF FEATURED MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS
Gothic Jewelry: Sinister Pleasures
National Ornamental Metal Museum
until March 10, 2013
Un peu de terre sur la peau
Appledorn, The Netherlands
until March 24, 2013
Otto Kunzli: The Exhibition
Die Neue Sammlung, Pinokotek Moderne
March 9 - April 7, 2013
Transit: Contemporary Jewellery From Israel
Bayerischer Kunstgewerbe-Verein e. V.
March 1 - April 13, 2013
Chicks on Speed and Lisa Walker present
Touch Me Baby I'm Bodycentric, a Mulitmodalplosion!
Wellington, New Zealand
March 2 - April 21, 2013
From the Coolest Corner
The National Museum, The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design
January 19 - April 21, 2013
Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Grand Rapids, MI
through April 21
Helen Britton: The Things I See
Die Neue Sammlung (New Museum of Arts and Design)
February 7 - April 28, 2013
Wear It or Not: Recent Jewelry Acquisitions
Museum of Arts & Design
New York, New York
March 12 - June 3, 2013
Museum of Fine Arts
July 19, 2011 - July 1, 2014
What is it that renders contemporary jewelry precious?
From our Reserve Holdings: Inauguration of a New Permanent Exhibition Room Devoted to Contemporary Jewelry
Ongoing from October 19, 2012
Musee de Design et d'arts Appliquies Contemorains (MUDAC)
On the home page of our new website, there is a changing list of the interesting, strange, and wonderful ways that contemporary jewelry is hitting the headlines. Find out what has been attracting our curiosity at AJF Recommends...