I regularly attend Art Basel Miami Beach held in South Beach every December, but this year I was presented with a highly unusual opportunity to attend Art Basel 44 in Basel, Switzerland. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up, and thought to myself, I can share this worldwide event with the crafthaus community! (For those unaware of the glory that is Art Basel, check out this link: https://www.artbasel.com/en/Basel ) 

This Art Basel 44 post, as it relates to the topic of 'Showing Publicly', covers standout galleries that showed wearable art during the Basel fairs last week.

Lucky enough to attend Monday night's Design Miami/Basel Fair Vernissage, I made Ornamentum Gallery my first stop for their highly anticipated exhibition. Ornamentum housed an incredible show with brand new works from Ruudt Peters.

Entrance Floor, Design/Miami Basel, 2013. Photo: Rebecca Rose

Peters' exhibition entitled "Qi" -loosely translated in Chinese to mean "life energy", "life force", or  "breath"- is the product of his recent 3 month experience living in China. Peters' engraved bluestone brooches and necklaces are shown with shelved groupings of his porcelain figures. Each of the porcelain figures begin the same in shape and size, and are then altered with found objects, debris, human hair, and other various materials. The designs engraved on each bluestone brooch and necklace were initially drawn blind, with Peters closing his eyes and letting his own "Qi" to take over and create the image. 

Ornamentum Gallery with artist Ruudt Peters, Design/Miami Basel, 2013. Photo: Rebecca Rose

Ornamentum Gallery, Design/Miami Basel, 2013. Photo: Rebecca Rose

At first glance, one might think that the pairing of his brooches and necklaces with his figurative sculptures are unrelated, but let's explore Peters' "QI" concept deeper. Some of the figures are altered with acupuncture pins, and mapped out with acupuncture points. It's said that for acupuncture to fulfill it's needs, "QI" must readily flow through the body to the vessels. I liked the application of oxidized silver on top of the bluestone, the linear forms made with the silver placed over parts of the blindly drawn figure reminded me of veins and major arteries in the body. I'm unsure if this was the intent, but I enjoyed seeing that relationship between the silver, bluestone, porcelain, and acupuncture pins.

Sculpture: Ruudt Peters, Porcelain, 2013. Photo: Rebecca Rose

Sculpture: Ruudt Peters, Porcelain, 2013. Photo: Rebecca Rose

Necklace: Ruudt Peters, Engraved Bluestone, Silver, 2013. Photo: Rebecca Rose

Necklace: Ruudt Peters, Engraved Bluestone, Silver, 2013. Photo: Rebecca Rose

Ornamentum Gallery, Design/Miami Basel, 2013. Photo: Rebecca Rose

Louisa Guinness Gallery at The Design Fair showed a collection 10 new necklaces and rings called "Cuts and Voids" from sculptor Anish Kapoor, famous for his highly reflective convex and concave public art pieces. For more about "Cuts & Voids" click here.

At The Scope Art Show, Gallery G-77, showed paintings with the larger than life jewelry work of Tokyo based artist Hiroko Tsuchida, pictured below. Tsuchida's Stainless Steel version of the piece, available by clicking here, also describes the artist's relationship to jewelry and the outside perception when worn. Although I personally prefer the polished stainless steel version via the link aforementioned, Tsuchida's use of performance art wearing, or "being anchored by", her piece proved striking in person at the Scope Fair. The artist also showed necklaces made entirely out of safety whistles and parts of small nail scissors.


"From MYSELF to Myself", Hiroko Tsuchida, 2012. Scope Basel Art Fair. Photo: Rebecca Rose

"From MYSELF to Myself", Hiroko Tsuchida, 2012. Scope Basel Art Fair. Photo: Rebecca Rose

Tsuchida's description as read from the G-77 Website:  

  • In the work "From MYSELF to myself" Hiroko Tsuchida suggests that jewelry may be a mirror of oneself, but not a mirror which is a mere reflection, but rather a tool helping to find her true self. She says: "Sometimes,  small and delicate things, like a piece of jewelry, are becoming powerful for articulation of oneself. When I wear my jewelry, it becomes a big part of expressing who I am. It says a lot about me". By wearing the large necklace, anchored to the ground, the artist feels like being dressed in a silver frame and forced to see herself objectively through "other eyes".


Antonella Villanova Gallery out of Milan exhibited new necklaces from Lucia Massei, and curiously displayed each piece on canvas, angled on black easels or music stands, with spotlights pinpointing each piece as the background faded away.

Necklaces: Lucia Massei, Photo: Rebecca Rose

Necklaces: Lucia Massei, Photo: Rebecca Rose 

The abundance of jewelry and wearable art on view during this year's Design Miami/Basel Fair not only caught the discerning eyes of Blouin Art Info, but also sparked this article available via the Blouin Art Info website.

Amidst the countless galleries that housed conceptually driven sculptures, paintings, sound art, etc. it was a delight to see such a strong presence of jewelry and wearable art at Art | Basel 44. On the Design Miami/Basel official website, their contributing writers have condensed the jewelry and wearable art pieces in a recap through their perspective here.

So if the accomplishments that these artists, galleries, fairs, etc. have attained regarding sharing wearable art with the Art Basel audience inspires you to take part in your own Art Basel endeavor, opportunities are available.

If any of you are interested in showing and representing yourself (or a collective of jewelry artists) The SELECT Art Fair's application season has begun. Matthew Eck and Brian Whiteley host the hotel style art fair out of South Beach's Catalina Resort, on Collins Ave. in Miami, mere steps away from Art Basel Miami Beach, Aqua Art Fair, The Ritz Carlton, and Sagamore Hotels. The ticket price of $5,000 gets you, or split amongst a collective of you, a hotel space to showcase your art during the hottest art event in the States. (In comparison, Aqua Art Fair's ticket price per gallery is around $12,000 and up.) To view their prospectus for The SELECT Art Fair 2013, click here.

The NEW MATERIAL Art Fair will host it's inaugural event at this December's Art Basel Miami Beach. The New Material Art Fair also applies the hotel fair model and is steps away from The Aqua Hotel Fair, also on Miami Beach. To view the prospectus, price tag, and potential for prosperity, click here.

Before making any leap, heavy amounts of homework and research are recommended first. A great conversation topic is already in progress, primarily discussing the relationships between artists and galleries, but also skims the surface of art fairs via this link on Art Jewelry Forum. But just as Stefan from Ornamentum Gallery says in the Art Jewelry Forum conversation aforementioned, it takes a lot of out of pocket resources to make a big event like this happen. So if you're intrigued, and at a spot in your career where you can afford to participate, show solo or buddy up with a collective of artists, get past the application process and are invited, you've got to sell, sell, sell during that week.

And as always, let us know the outcome of your efforts if you pursue these outlets, we'd all love to hear how it goes! 


I am in no way affiliated with The SELECT Art Fair, The New Material Art Fair, nor do I promise riches and gold if you participate. But some of you may want to show and be able to show, so if I can somehow facilitate connecting artists with the right people involved in these fairs, all the better.

Until then, 

-Rebecca Rose


Why don’t we be friends?
Sculpturings Website



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Great information. Although I am not ready to take on this sort of endeavor just yet, it is something that I would very much like to be a part of and strive for in the future. What great resources to start my research so that I can begin steps to align my career with my future goals.


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