17 August 2014 02:09PM
The ultramodern façade of Ornamentum at 506 Warren never fails to beckon as a mecca for very high quality art jewelry. Owners Stefan Friedemann and Laura Lapachin met when both were immersed in the study of metalsmithing in Pforzheim, Germany, known as “Goldstadt” for its reputation as the most esteemed jewelry-making center in the world. With this background, they have taken it upon themselves to showcase many of the foremost exponents working today at the cutting edge of this the most precious of the decorative arts.
The gallery is currently displaying a handful of extraordinary bracelets and brooches by the young Italian avant-garde virtuoso Giovanni Sicuro (aka “Minto”). Resembling in form, variously, sticks of cinnamon and ornate leg irons, they compel particularly by virtue of their complex and meticulously applied finishes, notably “niello”, a radiant black mixture of copper, silver, and lead sulphides, used since time immemorial as an inlay on engraved or etched metal.
According to notes provided: “Approaching the work of Giovanni Sicuro is difficult if you’re searching for a direct category to fit it in.…The work is incredibly complex, with an appreciation of geometric form, but arranged in a playful manner…into beautiful compositions whose visual simplicity carries an undercurrent of elemental intricacy, simplicity that masks the many hours spent laboriously fabricating each of these works by hand.”
When granted permission to examine one of the apparently densely massed bracelets, I was astonished to discover that it was actually hollow and feather-light. The same cannot, however, be said of the listed prices, though their formidable craftsmanship and ingenuity of design already qualifies them as museum pieces.
In this case, the artist was not present, but at Ornamentum they often are, and their openings are always on our list, and always a most worthwhile peek into a rarely encountered and rarefied world.
Uncredited (from Facebook): Giovanni Sicuro – Minto
Ornamentum: Giovanni Sicuro, Untitled Bracelet 1
Enid Futterman: Stefan Friedemann, Laura Lapachin, and Aaron Decker at Ornamentum
“Giovanni Sicuro” runs through September 14