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Serge Sorokko Gallery hosts important exhibition for Venetian cult jeweler Attilio Codognato
Memento Mori: Jewels by Codognato is comprised of nearly fifty new and vintage works from the archives of Casa Codognato.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The Serge Sorokko Gallery opened an exhibition: Memento Mori: Jewels by Codognato, displaying Venetian Master Jeweler Attilio Codognato’s exquisite collection of unique jewelry. The exhibition opened to the public on December 14.

Following the remarkable success of last year’s inaugural exhibition at the Serge Sorokko Gallery, the first outside of Codognato’s salon in Venice in the House’s 151-year history, his rarely seen (and even more rarely available for sale) collection of jewelry returns to the Sorokko Gallery, giving San Francisco a rare opportunity to experience the mysterious and fantastical world of Codognato. The gallery is hosting the month-long exhibition at its temporary location at 361 Sutter Street, as it prepares its move to a new, larger location at the historic turn-of-the-20th-Century Hunter-Dulin Building, at 111 Sutter Street.

Memento Mori: Jewels by Codognato is comprised of nearly fifty new and vintage works from the archives of Casa Codognato. Often featuring serpents and skulls in combinations of gold, silver and precious stones, Codognato’s exquisite pieces have developed a dedicated following that has included 19th and 20th century royal families of Europe and style icons such as Maria Callas, Coco Chanel, Luchino Visconti, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jackie Kennedy Onassis among others.

Casa Codognato, founded in Venice by Simeone Codognato in 1866, has been in the hands of his great-grandson Attilio since 1958, establishing a cult following of his own. Building on the House’s classical theme of memento mori, Codognato has influenced and inspired other artists and designers over the last several decades including John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, and is collected by arbiters of style such as fashion editor Carine Roitfeld, performer Elton John, Princess Firyal of Jordan, model Kate Moss, fashion designer Tom Ford, and actors Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage, to name a few.

“We could not be more honored that Codognato chose, again, to showcase his works with us,” stated Serge Sorokko. “Every one of the extraordinary pieces that have come out of the century-and-a-half history of this House is a genuine work of art. It is a privilege to be presenting these works in the United States for the second time.”

Jewelry exhibitions are more commonly found in museums; it is rare to exhibit works by a jeweler in a contemporary art gallery. Such exhibitions are more likely presented in world-renowned institutions such as the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which recently presented Cartier and Bulgari, or most notably JAR at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Attilio Codognato belongs in that company. For his outstanding contribution to the arts, the government of France bestowed upon him the prestigious honor of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2012.

“I have always kept my jewelry exclusively in my shop in Venice, and so have my father, grandfather and great-grandfather before me,” Codognato said. “Serge and Tatiana Sorokko, some of my most dedicated collectors, had finally convinced me, after years of trying, to exhibit my collection in the United States for the first time last year, and I am excited to share my works with American collectors again.”

An internationally acclaimed jeweler and fine artist based in Venice, Italy, Attilo Codognato has served as the head of his firm for almost 60 years. Casa Codognato has occupied the same space near Piazza San Marco since founder Simeone Codognato first opened its doors in 1866.

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