wear it or not: recent jewelry acquisitions at the MAD museum, NYC

MAD: Wear it or Not

Wear It or Not: Recent Jewelry Acquisitions

Through June 2, 2013

Over the past five years, MAD has collected nearly 200 exceptional pieces of art jewelry. From iconic mid-twentieth-century works to computer-designed musical jewelry, Wear It or Not: Recent Jewelry Acquisitions showcases the depth and variety of the new additions to the museum’s renowned permanent collection.

The exhibition features nearly 130 works from around the world, with objects by artists such as Claire Falkenstein, Olaf Skoogfors and Art Smith from the studio jewelry movement of the 1950s and 60s; several silver neckpieces and cuffs from India; alongside more recent works by emerging, mid-career and established jewelry artists such as Melanie Bilenker, Kat Cole, Mari Ishikawa, Keith Lewis, Jeremy May, Edward Lane McCartney, Iris Nieuwenburg, Arjen Noordeman and Christie Wright, Beverley Price, Axel Russmeyer, Sakurako Shimizu, Verena Sieber-Fuchs and Kiff Slemmons. The exhibition explores a range of jewelry making techniques, including computer design and digital fabrication, as well as the use of uncommon and unexpected materials to carry contemporary art jewelry beyond its decorative function into new creative realms of conceptual, social and political resonance.

MAD: Wear It or Not

I was able to visit this exhibition recently and picked out a few of my favorites – some jewelry artists I already recognized and a few new ones. The collection has some interesting pieces as well as some more traditional wears, so there is something for everyone to admire. The fun discoveries were the numerous flat-file drawers in the exhibition that one can open.

Melanie Bilenker, Sock, 2010, 18k gold, ebony, resin, hair, silver 2 3/8 x 2 3/8 x 1/4 in. (6 x 6 x 0.6 cm)
Melanie Bilenker, Sock, 2010, 18k gold, ebony, resin, hair, silver
2 3/8 x 2 3/8 x 1/4 in. (6 x 6 x 0.6 cm)

Melanie Bilenker uses very specific and non-traditional materials to create miniature narrative drawings with hair. Her technique must be tedious to execute but with amazing results.

Iris Nieuwenburg & Jeremy May have created works made with paper and laquer, photos and miniature elements.

Janna Syvanoja creates an elegant re-use of old phone directories, a quotidian object slowly dying out to the digital world.

Iris Nieuwenburg & Jeremy May
Iris Nieuwenburg & Jeremy May
Janna Syvanoja, Necklace, 1997, telephone directory, steel wire, acrylic stops
Janna Syvanoja, Necklace, 1997, telephone directory, steel wire, acrylic stops

Sakurako Shimizu uses commonly said words recorded in waveforms to create forms in which silver brooches are made, graphically depicting human sounds. The installation includes a digital monitor of these sounds.

Sakurako Shimizu, "Wow," "Sneeze," and "Yawn" brooches
Sakurako Shimizu, “Wow,” “Sneeze,” and “Yawn” brooches
Kim Buck, "String of Pearls with Gold Clasp," (brooches) 2003
Kim Buck, “String of Pearls with Gold Clasp,” (brooches) 2003

Kim Buck works with negative space and impressions left by objects, in this case, a set of 7 separate brooches fragmented but creating a hypothetic suggested necklace completed by the negative space left from a string of pearls.

Both Kiff Slemmons & Keith Lo Bue are creatively giving new life to old wooded rulers. My draw to these pieces are quite obvious.

Kiff Slemmons, "Little Egypt" (1999) & Keith Lo Bue, "When Memory Fails" (1996)
Kiff Slemmons, “Little Egypt” (1999) & Keith Lo Bue, “When Memory Fails” (1996)

 

Vadis Turner, joins gender roles and rites of passage into decorative and symbolic adornments giving discarded jewelry a second life.

Vadis Turner, "Pelvis" (2011), glass, discarded jewelry, mixed media
Vadis Turner, “Pelvis” (2011), glass, discarded jewelry, mixed media

Wear It or Not: Recent Jewelry Acquisitions is organized by Ursula Ilse-Neuman, Curator of Jewelry at the Museum of Arts and Design.

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2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY
info@madmuseum.org
212-299-7777

Museum Hours
Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Thursday and Friday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Closed Mondays and major holidays (except New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day)

Admission
General: $16
Seniors: $14
Students:$12
Members: FREE
18 and under with ID (excluding groups): FREE

Thursdays & Fridays from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm: Pay-What-You-Wish

Click here for detailed directions.

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