Uncanny Images in Jewelry

Fashion and style are lightweight cultural expressions. Their light entertainment is offered to visitors of  Musee D’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris at a jewelry exhibition titled “MEDUSA: Bijoux et Tabous”.

There are 400 pieces of jewelry on display, made by artists, jewelry makers, and designers including Man Ray, Meret Oppenheim, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali, Louise Bourgeois, René Lalique, Victoire de Castellane, Dany McDonald, Nervous System, Karl Fritsch, and many others.

Uncanny, surrealistic decoration was always in fashion, from the grim 18th century silver “Memento Mori” ring to the images of spontaneous dream-like thought of recent years, such as the Karl Fritch ring from 2006 (silver oxide, gems).

Anonyme, Bague Memento Mori, vers 1730 Argent, or, émail, cristal de roche Collection Katharina Faerber © KFAERBER
Karl Fritsch, 2oo6 © Collection Ville de Cagnes-sur-Mer ©ADAGP,Paris 2017

“Surrealism’ as a movement of freedom from logic and reason, and as a romantic attempt to break with things as they are and replace them with strange, elemental, savage, primitive objects, is at the center  of  “Medusa”  exhibition.  This includes Meret Oppenheim’s fur bracelet (1935) and the star of the jewelry show, the Dali-designed smile.

Meret Oppenheim, Bracelet, 1935 Fourrure, métal. © Meret Oppenheim © ADAGP, Paris 2017


Reproduction of Salvador Dalí design by Henryk Kaston, Broche Ruby Lips, 1970-80, gold, rubis, perles, Photo : Robin Hill
Anonyme (France), Bracelet de naissance, 10 mai 2009 Plastique, papier Collection famille Gaultier ©ADAGP,Paris 2017

Diamonds and pearls contrast with items that are plastic, fashionable “emptiness”?  Can the ” bracelet de naissance, 10 mai 2009″ made of  plastic and paper, from the Gaultier collections be elevated to jewellery status?

Yes, as the rules of this modern democratic and ergonomic design are not to overdesign, and to leave the piece as flexible as possible, and the elegance there means the ability to adapt to a diversity of users and audiences.

Will the consumption of fashion be even more deconstructed in the future? Will a consumer design fashion at home and print it on a personal 3d printer?

Van Cleef & Arpels, Bracelet Ruban, 1959 Platine, or jaune, Serti Mystérieux rubis © Van Cleef & Arpels


Written by   Irina Vernichenko