Last fall, we reported on the debut of Flawless, a unique online selling platform at Phillips, the international auction house. After launching with fine jewelry by noted British designer Shaun Leane, Flawless later bowed Woman to Woman, a collaborative sale of pieces selected by Vivienne Becker, noted jewelry author, historian, and founder of Vivarium, the arm of her brand that is focused on curating, trendspotting, guest-speaking, and more.
The latest Flawless x Vivarium exhibition is titled “New Modernism” and gathers 27 pieces by 16 modernist jewelry designers and artists. Unveiled earlier this month, it highlights Becker’s sense of a cultural mood shift toward a new abstract modernist design theme in contemporary jewelry, one that’s more closely connected to the tenets of other art mediums.
“Over the past few years, I’ve watched as a new, graphic, modernist jewelry style has emerged, a seismic shift away from figurative fantasies, responding to changes in today’s world, technological advances, the meeting of science and art,” she said in a statement. “It’s reminiscent of the original 1920s modernism, and of the 1970s movement, which gave me the idea for ‘New Modernism.’”
It’s a theme that also fits with what Paul Redmayne, head of private jewelry sales at Phillips, describes as “a mood and move away from…dégradé pavé work and storytelling, towards powerful, abstract compositions of line, form, and color,” according to a statement.
Standouts include a 1930s pin designed by Alexander Calder (pictured at top); exceptional pieces from Aldo Cipullo and Jean Dinh Van, who were designing for Cartier in the 1970s; and contemporary pieces from jewelers such as Fabio Salini, Atelier Zobel, and Studio Renn.
A few highlights from the sale are below.
Top: Circa 1939 brass and steel wire coil pin, $162,000; Alexander Calder. This piece is accompanied by a laminated original handwritten letter signed by the artist and dated December 18, 1939. The “New Modernism” series will be available to shop online or by appointment at the Phillips Hong Kong office through Nov. 12.
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