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Diana Venet's collection of jewelry made by artists on view at Valencian Institute for Modern Art
My passion for artists’ jewelry was born on the day my sculptor husband, Bernar Venet, amused himself by rolling a thin stick of silver around my left ring finger to make me a wedding ring!

By: Diana Venet

VALENCIA.- In my rather itinerant life, my collection of jewelry has become an intimate museum that I can take with me everywhere, and the treasure trove that always greets me upon my return home.

It is Jewelry, but, in my eyes, mainly Art.

And here I am proposing a different narrative about jewelry, one that is far from the shiny pages of glossy magazines. It is the story of various distinguished artists, male and female, who became interested in this adventure, inspired by love for a woman, by the challenge, or simply out of interest in this particular medium of expression.

My passion for artists’ jewelry was born on the day my sculptor husband, Bernar Venet, amused himself by rolling a thin stick of silver around my left ring finger to make me a wedding ring! This first gesture, so moving in its spontaneity, had a far-reaching impact on me. It allowed me to discover the scarcely-known universe of such unique and precious works of art. Precious because of their rarity, but also for the symbolic content that is often at the origin of their creation.

A piece may be created as unique or as an edition of several examples (usually between 8 and 12), but it has often been fashioned with a particular person in mind. Picasso collected pebbles on the beach and then painted them as jewels for Dora Maar. He engraved the portrait of Marie Thérèse on pieces of bones. Giacometti made buttons for his friend Elsa Schiaparelli and then transformed them into brooches for his close friends. Frank Stella, out of friendship, first gave me an unique titanium necklace before accepting to work on a small edition of a spectacular gold rings. Germana Matta told me how Roberto carefully arranged a piece of jewelry himself, around her neck…These anecdotes show the specificity of these objects that combine both a personal history and the history of art. The examples are many, and these miniature works of art also give the artist the opportunity to test their practical ability confronting unprecedented constraints.

Today, after 25 years of research and collecting, I have about 130 mini works of art that can be worn on the wrist, the neck, or the finger. When I select one of them from my collection for a special occasion, I am always extremely sensitive to its closeness to me, to its intimate relation with art. I may roll a Takis around my wrist, or see myself reflected in a Kapoor around my neck; by wearing them, I offer them to be viewed by other people and there is a pleasure in becoming, in a way, a torch bearer.

I now often meet women and men, collectors or dealers, who share my interest in jewelry designed by artists. We would track a rare piece from country to country! In London, a wealth of knowledge in the husband and wife team of Martine and Didier Haspeslagh at Didier Antiques, and the passion for new collaborations that can be found with Elisabetta Cipriani and Louisa Guinness at their eponymous galleries; in Milan, the precious help and advice of GianCarlo Montebello who worked intimately with so many great artists: Man Ray, Fontana, Arnaldo and Gio Pomodoro, Niki de Saint Phalle, among others; in Verona, Marina Ruggieri; or, in Paris, Esther de Beaucé from miniMasterpiece who now works closely with contemporary artists on small editions: Arman, Rebecca Horn, Jannis Kounellis, Pol Bury, François Morellet and Lee Ufan, just to name a few! Of course I could not forget the very famous and beautiful Grassy establishment in Madrid, who have produced unique works with Antony Caro and editions with Blanca Muñoz.

The story of the collection presented at IVAM is the result of my friendship with many artists.





Last Week News

December 24, 2012

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Pearl Lam Galleries presents its first design art exhibition at its Hong Kong Pedder Building gallery space

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'Places of Memory-Fields of Vision' opens at the Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki

"Beatrice Gibson: The Tiger's Mind, featuring Jesse Ash" at Index-Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation

Builder of California 'Phonehenge' sentenced to jail

Survey comprising works by Lara Favaretto from the past 15 years on view at Sharjah Art Foundation

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December 23, 2012

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library opens new exhibits after multi million dollar renovation

The Whitney Museum of American Art presents American Legends: From Calder to O'Keeffe

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov organize exhibition of their work with that of El Lissitzky at Van Abbemuseum

New exhibition 'Princesses' of the Mediterranean in the dawn of History opens at the Museum of Cycladic Art

Comprehensive overview exhibition of Ernst Wilhelm Nay's work on view at Kunstmuseum Bonn

Form Color Space: Aurel Scheibler opens new space with exhibition focusing on four German artists

Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn installs an incredible number of objects reminiscent of an airport

Angela at 80: Exhibition at Flowers Gallery celebrates Angela's 80th birthday

Christie's in Paris announces charity sale to benefit "Villages and People" NGO

Career overview of the work by visionary artist Sturtevant on view at Kunsthalle Zurich

Exhibition at La Malmaison Arts Centre in Cannes presents works by French photographer André Villers

Pour une grammaire du hasard: Works by five artists in exhibition at Kunsthalle Fribourg

Race to the Remix challenges public to create exhibition at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Cynthia-Reeves announces Soo Sunny Park installation at Cranbrook Art Museum

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Thea Djordjadze's sculptures, organisms and indeterminable landscapes on view at Malmo Konsthall

RM Group of companies enjoys significant growth and record $360 million in auction sales during 2012

Artist Michael Najjar completes first phase of cosmonaut training

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December 22, 2012

Exhibition at Ariana Museum in Geneva reflects on agriculture and nutrition as art

Christie's announces a sale devoted to the artistic traditions that flourished in Europe from 1300 to 1600

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The Collection de l'Art Brut opens first European solo show devoted to Morton Bartlett

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Six artists from the border triangle of Germany, Switzerland and France exhibit at Kunsthalle Basel

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British Prince Andrew's ex-partner actress Koo Stark denies 'painting theft'

Simon de Pury steps down as Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company; The Mercury Group acquires company

Akron Art Museum's 90th anniversary year crescendos with a pledge of a major gift

Daniel & Florence Guerlain Foundation announces winners of Contemporary Drawing Prize

Hamburger Kunsthalle exhibits the work of Artist and author Annette Wehrmann

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Kaminski Auctions announces 20th Century Decorative Art and Design Sale

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December 21, 2012

Mexican archaeologists find another 1,200 year-old grave at Atzompa in Oaxaca

RISD museum opens an exhibition of beautiful and rarely seen prints and books

Louvre cements spot as world's most-visited museum; website seen more than 11 million visitors

Guggenheim Museum in New York acquires sculpture by artist Mark Grotjahn

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MoMA presents Christian Marclay's groundbreaking video installation "The Clock"

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Christie's New York announces it will offer over 400 lots during Americana Week in January 2013

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December 20, 2012

Field Museum cutting staff, overhauling operations and limiting the scope of its research

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Atlanta's High Museum of Art to host Collectors Evening to build permanent collection

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First exhibition in the UK of Croatian artist Sanja Iveković opens at The South London Gallery

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December 19, 2012

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Bonhams Period Art & Design Sale in San Francisco achieves strong results across categories

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