In the eyes of French jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane, bracelets, rings, and necklaces should never be hidden away. They should be kept out, always on display. And last night, at the opening of her first New York sculpture exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, de Castellane presented a ten-piece collection of objets d’art entitled animalvegetablemineral that very much put her jewelry in full view.
Each work featured a sparkling piece of wearable jewelry sitting atop a gleaming sculpted base. De Castellane, who's referenced everything from fairy tales to medieval beasts and abstract flora in her work at Dior (where she's been the artistic director of Dior Fine Jewelry since 1998), is known for her highly original inspirations. This latest collection cites three areas of the natural world: nocturnal creatures, vegetation, and minerals.
Serpents and night crawlers are represented by indigo-lacquered gold necklaces with rough geodes resting on contoured bases made from solid silver. The abstract forms of the bases were designed as a counterpoint to the serpentine jewels that, as de Castellane told the Cut, are best seen in the moonlight. As opposition, there is a sun-lit area of brightly colored lacquer and multicolored rubies and sapphires; the colors and forms erecting upright out of the bases, as if a flowering peach in full bloom. The final mineral component, Vitam Industria Abstract Multi Candy, exists in the form of multicolored, precious-stone earrings atop a base of faceted silver blocks made entirely of diamonds. De Castellane's setting is a nod toward geological evolution, but to the viewer, the angles of the cubist base also made the stones appear even more radiant. Click ahead to see five of our favorite works from the show.
"Precious Objects," on display at Gagosian Gallery (980 Madison Ave.; 212-744-2313) from March 11 through April 5, 2014.