Guest Blogger: Sara Friedlander
Charm & Chain is thrilled to present our new guest blog series, a showcase of fashion essentials and inside tips from exclusive tastemakers that truly know best! Given that so much of our jewelry is wearable art, we thought it only natural to start with Sara Friedlander of Christie’s (and longtime fan of Charm & Chain!). Post-War and Contemporary Art Specialist Sara Friedlander has worked at Christie’s in New York for the past five years and is responsible for securing paintings, works on paper, photography and sculpture from 1950 to today for auction. Sara’s biannual First Open Sale is an auction geared toward a younger audience and those just beginning to build their own collections.
So much of the jewelry that Charm & Chain showcases would look just as stunning displayed on a wall in a gallery as it would on a woman. To draw the obvious comparison of jewelry to art, I selected five of my favorite pieces from the site and compared them to amazing works of Post-War and Contemporary Art.
I love the materials and the execution of this stunning necklace. It reminds me of a Sheila Hicks sculpture, whose recent exhibition at the ICA blew me away. Just like this seminal American artist, frieda&nellie brilliantly combine a crafty sensibility with a fine art technique. I’d wear this with a black pants suit and hope it didn’t detract too much from the art!
Alexis Bittar’s classic Liquid Gold Triangle ring mimics the clean and Modernist lines of a Max Bill sculpture. Max Bill actually apprenticed as a silversmith in the late 1920s before studying at the Bauhhaus under Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee in the early 1930s. On a technical note, both the ring and the sculpture explore central themes of topology and the classification of surfaces and their analogues in higher dimensions.
Oriental, psychedelic, surreal, and decorative, Noir’s addictive line of baubles echos the outrageous phantasmagoria in the surfaces of Calcutta-born, British based Raqib Shaw’s canvases. Like the artist, Noir incorporates a veritable Natural History Museum catalogue of flora and fauna in each and every piece designed. Noir’s distinctive enamel-like surfaces are similar to the jewel-like quality of Shaw’s paintings populated by the flowers, insects, birds, animals, and monsters of the artist’s imaginary universe. Both designer and artist recognize the inherent beauty and decorative qualities that lie beneath the surface of the everyday creature.
In the mid 1960s, American artist Brice Marden developed a technique of mixing melted beeswax with oil paint in order to reduce the shine of the paint and to increase the tactility of the painted surface. First drawing on a subtle palette of gray and muted tones, and later on stronger richer colors and multi-panel combinations, he established his artistic reputation with this technique. He likened his triptych beeswax paintings, including Red, Yellow, Blue Painting, to musical chords. These Sophie Earrings feel like the wearable incarnation of this Minimalist master. Just perfect.
The simplicity and poignancy of the number makes this piece by Lulu Frost CODE so central to my everyday wardrobe. The subject of the number is central to the art of Pop Artist Robert Indiana who sees each number as being both an abstract idea and a representation of the physical presence of numbers in life. Like Indiana, we all associate many significant memories from our own lives with numbers—age, date, apartment number, anniversary. I have a particular affinity for the number five, which, according to Indiana, represents aiming toward the prime of life. Clearly, this one needs to be mine.