An Ideal Collection: an unmissable exhibition celebrates the history of artist’s jewellery
By Francesco Maffei
From Jeff Koons to Louise Bourgeois and Pablo Picasso, from Damien Hirst to Takis with his magnetic creations, from Yayoi Kusama with her oversized wool necklaces to Pierrette Bloch with her never-ending repetitive motifs. ‘La Collection Idéale de Diane Vernet’ exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris displays until June 8th 2018 the phantasmagorical collection of 230 pieces by 150 international artists purchased in the course of over thirty years by Diane Venet, an enthusiastic artist’s jewel collector and wife of the French conceptual sculptor Bernar Venet.
Jewellery has always aroused enormous interest for the many artists who directed their creative inspiration towards crafting precious metals and multifaceted stones into invaluable jewels with a symbolism that is unleashed at the moment of their creation. In a certain sense, jewels take possession of the creative genius and of the artist’s ideal of beauty.
The poetic vision of the artist’s jewels collected by Diane Venet is clearly evident and palpable throughout the rigorously chronologically and thematically organised exhibition that follows a path developed in a truly unique location through different themes and concepts. The provocative ideas of the surrealists are, for example, evoked in the ‘Dream and Fantasy’ section, in which are displayed jewels by Salvador Dalí and a perforated mask by Man Ray as well as the dreamlike pieces by Jean Cocteau and by Leonor Fini.
The multifaceted, elegant and fascinating exhibition perfectly reflects the history of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the passion for artistic creation applied to jewellery of Madame Venet, two elements that do not differ but match also to perfection. ‘La Collection Idéale de Diane Vernet’ is, indeed, an authentic ode to the art of the artist and of the goldsmith and to jewellery in general.