The women in Man Ray's life, as well as his reverence for the female form more broadly, were reflected in his jewellery. He kept the wearer in mind with each piece; never impractical or obtrusive, his jewels played with illusion, language and form as he employed the medium to further explore the artistic preoccupations of his career.
Art as Jewellery is a visually stunning introduction to jewellery made by the titans of twentieth and twenty-first century art. From Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso, through to Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst and Grayson Perry, the great figures of modern art have all turned both thought and talent to jewellery. Often, they have eschewed the traditional jeweller's preoccupation with material value and provenance, more concerned with the conceptual or aesthetic significance of their work.
As is fitting for a book that covers a range of artists, every image is as striking as it is unique. By using contemporary pictures, Art as Jewellery develops a chronological timeline of jewellery presentation. Its pages are home to a stunning variety of design sketches and photographs. Some were shot by renowned 20th century photographers, such as Ugo Mulas and Antonia Mulas, while others have been buried in archives for decades, unseen since the '60s. In contrast, modern works have been given model treatment by top photographer Alexander English, making this book a glamorous blend of new and classic jewellery art.
Author Louisa Guinness, collector and gallery owner, provides insightful commentary on each artist and their work. Her input can be felt on a personal level; having worked alongside many of these artists as they developed their jewellery, she is in the perfect position to reveal the personal stories behind these pieces creation. Full-page colour photographs and sketches, some showing the artist at work in the studio, or with their muse, accompany each profile. Louisa also explores each artist in the context of the genre's evolution, looking at the key exhibitions that have shaped the interest of artists and collectors. This book will be of interest to jewellery and art lovers alike.