ODE A LA FEMME | Ramon Casas and contemporary jewellery

La femme est sans doute une lumière, un regard, une invitations au bonheur, une parole quelquefois; mais elle est surtout une harmonie générale, non-seulement da son allure et le mouvements des membres, mais aussi dans des mousselines, les gazes, les vastes chatoyants nuées d’étoffes dont elle s’enveloppe, et qui sont comme les attributs et le piédestal de sa divinité. » Charles Baudeleaire,  La femme dans Le peintre de la vie moderne.

In early 2014 I started combining high fashion creations with works from the world of contemporary jewellery, recognizing a continuing recurrence of forms, through different creative fields, germinating ideas and similar aesthetic results.   This project, called “Les Métissages”, was inspired by two key concepts borrowed from my art history studies: the life (and migration) of forms[1] and ideas and the one of “sister arts”[2].

Discovering how several artists -unknown to each other- could (and can) conceive the same idea and achieve an equally aesthetic result in different fields like fashion and contemporary jewellery, gave me the possibility to create a “new grammar of beauty”, intended as a new perspective on decorative arts and opening that “life of forms” that has always given birth to preludes and collisions in the Art’s world[3].

With the project of “Les Confluences| Las Confluencias | Les Confluències” a step further is taken into a hybrid territory: the one of dialogue among arts.  Forms, which survive and live through Time and Space display their range of vitality even between paintings from the Catalan Modernist painter Ramon Casas and contemporary jewellery, providing a confluence of ideas, patterns, colours and, above all, textures.

Since for many centuries applied arts were considered as younger daughters of Fine Arts, the project of “Les Confluences| Las Confluencias | Confluències wants to testify the recurrence of ornamental motifs, decorative embellishments and similar textures by juxtaposing contemporary jewellery pieces and a corpus of works directly taken form the Modernist period, focusing on the oeuvres of one of its maximum authors, Ramon Casas.

Thus, a confluence is intended as a creative echo between the Artist -celebrated in this year 2016 “Any of Ramon Casas”  with a series of exhibitions-  and a group of ten invited jewellery-makers gathered together in order to create a visible, tangible dialogue between the painter of the vida moderna (modern life) and contemporary jewellery.

Ramon Casas was certainly a painter of modern life [4]: his subjects testify the closeness to realism[5] and the urge to paint what was surrounding him, from the men riding  a bike, to the delicacy of his portraits, through the posters and illustrations he made.  A range of episodes directly taken from reality and everyday life. In this sense, I consider him a “peintre de son temps” (a painter of his time)[6]: a man deeply plunged in his epoch as the jewellery makers are today, because, contemporary jewellery is the jewellery we make nowadays[7]; using both (Ramon Casas and the makers)  an artistic universal language and, at the same time, a peculiar way of interpretation of the world, developed by each maker with different materials, techniques, sensibility and inventiveness.

A confluence is a bridge focused on materials, colours and textures flourishing first from the drawings and paintings and then, connected through the use of precious and non-precious materials, giving birth to a dialogue on ideas, inspirations and different languages. At the very beginning each jeweller artist has been selected for his/her well-known traits and language and then, invited to create a piece directly inspired to the work of Ramon Casas explaining what touched their imagination: here are the creative echoes.

 

casas-and-nagano

RAMON CASAS, Júlia, c. 1915, carbó sobre paper/carbón sobre papel, 57×43 cm – Gothsland Galeria D’Art                                                                                                                                               KAZUMI NAGANO (Japan), Untitled, brooch, 2016 – linen paper, nylon thread, gold (18ct) and silver pin (950) – mm 120x95x55. Photographer: Ryota Skiguchi

photostudio_1473788293333

RAMON CASAS, Dama amb peineta i mantó/ Dama con pineita y mantón, c.1915, carbó sobre paper/ carbon sobre papel, 58×44 cm – Gothsland Galeria D’Art.                                             JORGE MANILLA (Mexico/Belgium), Who of us has lost the most, 2016 – Mixed media, leather, nylon thread, wood – 45 x 11 x 8 cm

 

maria-rosa-franzin-and-ramon-casas

MARIAROSA FRANZIN (Italy), I tuoi pensieri /Your thoughts, brooch, 2016 – technical goldsmith – gold 999, silver, methacrylate – mm 70x 80×30 RAMON CASAS, Dama amb berret /Dama con sombrero, c. 1915, Carbó sobre paper/ Carbón sobre papel

sungho-cho-and-ramon-casas

SUNGHO CHO (South Korea), Forest, brooch, solded & patinated silver and recycled plastic – 82x70x22mm – RAMON CASAS, Manola amb mantellina/ Manola con mantilla, c.1915, carbó i llapis conté sobre paper/carbón y lápis conté sobre papel , 60×45 cm – Gothsland Galeria D’Art

 

casas-mariani-vagi

RAMON CASAS, El petó de bona nit/El beso de buenas noches, c. 1890, Oli sobre tela/Óleo sobre tela – 73,5x 92,5 cm – Museu del Modernisme de Barcelona         GIGI MARIANI (Italy), Dance in black, bracelet, 2016 – silver, 18kt yellow gold, niello, patina – 10 cm diameter x 2 cm large    FLÓRA VÁGI (Hungary), Pillowaves III, brooch, 2016 – pear wood, cold enamel, silver, steel – 7.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 cm

 

casas-johansson

RAMON CASAS, Dama amb foulard vermell/ Dama con Foulard Rojo, c. 1901, Tècnica mixta sobre paper/Técnica mixta sobre papel – 60×45 cm – Museu del Modernisme de Barcelona KARIN JOHANSSON (Sweden), Sweep, earrings, 2016 – sawing, bending and soldering – 11 cm, gold and acrylic

 

casas-and-massei

RAMON CASAS, Chula amb mantó I mocador vermells/Chula con mantón y pañuelo rojos, c. 1898, oli sobre tela/Óleo sobre tela, 38×27 cm – Coll. particular                                                 LUCIA MASSEI (Italy), Rosso Consapevole, bracelet, 2013 – copper, pigments, mixed media, fine gold – cm 13 x cm 9 of circumference

 

casas-and-hirte

RAMON CASAS, Figura femenina, c. 1898, oli sobre tela/óleo sobre tela, 40,5×32 cm. – Coll. particular                                                                                                                                                             LYDIA HIRTE (Germany), Untitled, pendant – hand cut, colored and glazed, moved by hand, tensioned and twisted fine drawing card, drawing and calligraphic ink – 7x6x4.5 cm

vagi-and-casas

FLÓRA VÁGI (Hungary), Sun lost in waves, brooch – cedar wood, pigment, acrylic paint, silver, steel – 9 x 5.5 x 2 cm                                                                                                                   RAMON CASAS, Dama Vestida amb gavardina i tocat/Dama vestida con gabardina y tocado, 1899-1903, carbó i pastel sobre paper/carbón y pastel sobre papel

 

casas-and-mccaig

JUDY McCAIG (GB/Spain), A través del Espacio y el Tiempo/Across Space and Time, brooch 2016 – drawn, painted, constructed, riveted steel, 18ct gold, silver, herkimer diamond crystals, aluminium, paint, perspex – 99x67x10mm           RAMON CASAS, Recollint la ginesta/ Recogiendo la Retama, c.1899, carbó i cera sobre paper/ carbón y cera sobre papel – Museu del Modernisme de Barcelona                         JUDY McCAIG (GB/Spain), Estrellas de la Mañana/Morning Stars, brooch, 2016 – drawn, painted, constructed, riveted 18ct gold leaf, silver, herkimer – 112x60x15mm

 

 

[1] For the life of forms see: Henri Focillon, Vie de Formes suivi  de Éloge de la main, Paris, PUF, 1943 (tr. It. Vita delle Forme seguito da elogio della mano, Torino Einaudi, 1972).

For the life and migrations of forms see also: Jurgis Baltrušaitis, Le Moyen Âge fantastique. Antiquités et exotismes dans l’art gothique, Paris, 1972 (tr. It. Il Medioevo Fantastico. Antichità ed esotismi dell’arte gotica, Milano, Adelphi, 1973);

Jurgis Baltrušaitis, Formations, deformations, Paris, Flammarion, 1986 (tr. It. Formazioni, deformazioni. La stilistica ornamentale nella scultura romanica, Milano, Adelphi, 2005);

Jurgis Baltrušaitis, Réveils et prodiges, Paris, Flammarion, 1988 (tr, it. Risvegli e prodigi. La metamorfosi del gotico, Milano, Adelphi, 1999).

[2] For the concept of “sister arts” see Mario Praz, Mnemosine. Parallelo tra letteratura e le arti visive, Milano, SE, 2008.

[3] Henri Focillon, op.cit., p. 87.

[4] For the life and works of Ramon Casas see: Ramon Casas, La Vida Moderna, exhibition catalogue, curated by Gabriel Pinós Guirao, Museo del Modernismo de Barcelona, Barcelona, 2016.

See also: http://www.ramoncasas.cat/

[5] Linda Nochlin, Realism, Peguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1971 (tr. It Linda Nochlin, Il realismo nella pittura europea del XIX secolo, Einaudi, Torino, 2004)

[6] See Nochlin, op. cit., pp.63-97.

[7]  See also: Liesbeth den Besten, On jewellery. A compendium of international contemporary jewellery, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2012, pp. 9-10.

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