Friday, June 20, 2008

Studio Jewelry at the Renwick

A few weeks ago we made a busy trip to D.C. Each time we go, I have my 'rounds' to the Renwick, the Corcoran and to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. I try to at least make it to these places and as many other museums as possible.

A trip to the Renwick is always inspiring, but this time it was the contemporary jewelry show that sent me back to the hotel with my head buzzing. There was about 250 pieces of work on display.

As well as this huge and beautiful necklace pictured here, there were about 250 pieces on display. This necklace is made of acrylic and sterling.

One truly interesting piece was made of very humble materials indeed--multiple pieces of colored cardboard and elastic thread. A total wonder. I spent a good bit of time trying to visualize how this was made. The artist had to (1) color the board with graduating colors in order to control the variation and progression of color. (2) cut out the shapes so that the juxtaposition creates the 'swirl' repeat. I wish I had a photo, but taking pictures was not allowed in the gallery.

The great thing about this show is that it also included some of the artist's working drawings and diagrams. I was interested to see the variations in these graphic 'thoughts'. Some were works of art in their own right; others were practically gestures. Quickly and spontaneously drawn almost in a rush to get the inspiration down on paper before it flew away.

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