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A gold brooch by Pablo  Picasso, included in "Artist as Jeweler" at the Museum of Art and  Design
A gold brooch by Pablo Picasso, included in "Artist as Jeweler" at the Museum of Art and Design


Sept. 8, 2011

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In lieu of a typical engagement ring, sculptor Bernar Venet proposed to his wife by wrapping a thin strip of silver around her ring finger. Since then, Diane Venet has acquired and commissioned sculptural jewelry from a number of her husband’s contemporaries -- Kader Attia, John Chamberlain, Orlanand Frank Stella among them -- and included them in “Picasso to Koons: Artist as Jeweler,” Sept. 20, 2011-Jan. 8, 2012, an exhibition she guest-curated at the Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle in New York.

Among the 135 items on view are a platinum cyborg-rabbit necklace with a Pinocchio nose by Jeff Koons, a gold Love ring by Robert Indiana, a silver charm bracelet by Damien Hirst, a found-object collage brooch by Robert Rauschenberg, a wool necklace by Yayoi Kusama, a gold “Imagine Peace” LP ring by Yoko Ono and other pieces from Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Alberto Giacometti, Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois and others.

The exhibition is divided into the categories “Early Masters,” “Representational,” and “Abstraction,” with special sections devoted to Pop, figurative, geometric, natural and new-material works.

The exhibition “reveals the more personal side of so many great artists,” museum director Holly Hotchner said in a statement. “As the only museum in the country with a collection of contemporary art jewelry on permanent display, we take our role as an exhibitor of innovative and richly imaginative jewelry seriously. For us, it's another tool in our mission to break down what we see as the false hierarchies dividing the various realms of material creation: art, design, and craft.”

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