As the presenting sponsor of the Whitney Biennial 2017, opening on March 17, Tiffany & Co. is pleased to announce a collaboration with five 2017 Biennial artists on a series of limited artist editions.
The five artists, Harold Mendez, Ajay Kurian, Raúl de Nieves, Carrie Moyer and Shara Hughes, collaborated with Tiffany artisans to create objects reflecting their artistic vision. The artists were handpicked by Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks, co-curators of the upcoming Biennial. “Pairing Biennial artists with Tiffany artisans is such a rare and incredible opportunity. For each of the artists, it is as if their studio has expanded exponentially through the collaboration. The range of bold and daring objects that they have created together is a testament to Tiffany’s longstanding commitment to art,” said Lew and Locks. All of the artists had full creative control when conceptualizing their editions for Tiffany.
Working with the Tiffany hollowware workshop, Harold Mendez reinterpreted a pre-Columbian death mask utilizing Tiffany sterling silver welded into a vessel with embossed features and an iridescent applied patina. Mendez's practice references cross-cultural perspectives that examine how reclaimed objects and historical artifacts function as layered markers of meaning.
Artist Ajay Kurian is known for creating psychological landscapes through sculpture that examines how childhood development relates to the adult world. Intrigued by secrets, Kurian worked with Tiffany artisans to emblazon 10 limited edition sterling silver business card cases with a custom designed stereogram. Astute viewers will see the word “psycho” hidden within its seemingly abstract and intricate acid-etched design. The message is a discreet reference to the power elite and their "secret handshake" from the 2001 film, American Psycho.
For painter and activist Carrie Moyer, her preparatory process begins with cut-paper collage before making her acrylic works, often on the floor, pouring, rolling, stippling, mopping and working the paint into the canvas by hand. Moyer designed a custom-made sterling silver pendant that echoes the shapes and hand stippling that appears in her paintings.
Raúl de Nieves is a multimedia artist, performer and musician based in Brooklyn, New York, whose diverse work ranges from ornamental, handcrafted fashion to large-scale figurative sculptures. Nieves partnered with a Tiffany master engraver, to translate a thematic drawing seen throughout his work. The image, depicting two characters presenting a child to the world, was hand engraved onto a Tiffany sterling silver box. It serves as a celebratory representation of new beginnings and generosity, but also a reminder of life’s emotional challenges.
Shara Hughes has customized a series of Tiffany bone china pitchers in her Brooklyn studio by painting them by hand in her signature bold strokes to replicate landscapes that invite the viewer into these fantastical scenes.
All five artists will design their own window installation at the Tiffany & Co. Fifth Avenue flagship store, creating unique environments in which to house their objects. The windows provide another channel for the artists to communicate their vision to a wider audience and showcase their collaborative efforts with Tiffany artisans. Tiffany & Co is proud to provide these artists with this new and unique platform and to engage in a relevant dialogue with some of the most unique voices making art today.
The artist editions will be available exclusively at the Tiffany & Co. Fifth Avenue flagship store and the shop at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
About Tiffany and the Arts
Tiffany & Co. has a long history of supporting the arts, guided by the belief that a successful company has a responsibility to the greater community. Tiffany’s legacy with the arts dates back to its founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, an original trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his son Louis Comfort Tiffany, a pioneering designer and jeweler of the American Art Nouveau movement. Tiffany continues its commitment to arts and culture with its support of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and sponsorship of the next three Whitney Biennials through 2021.
Tiffany is the internationally renowned jeweler founded in New York in 1837. Through its subsidiaries, Tiffany & Co. manufactures products and operates TIFFANY & CO. retail stores worldwide, and also engages in direct selling through Internet, catalog and business gift operations. For additional information, please visit Tiffany.com
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