When French conceptual artist Bernar Venet wrapped a thin strip of silver around the future Diane Venet’s finger to propose marriage, the stylish curator became hooked on wearable works of art. Now her dress code includes miniature masterpieces by some of art history’s most notable names, from Max Ernst to Pablo Picasso, and contemporary artists such as Yoko Ono and Anish Kapoor.
The vast trove she has amassed is on exhibit in “From Picasso to Koons: The Artist as Jeweler” at the Bass Museum of Art (2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). It features nearly 200 glittering ornaments, including rings, pendants, brooches, necklaces, and other precious adornments by 135 artists.
On view are a painted wood-and-metal pendant by Louise Nevelson and a platinum rabbit pendant by Jeff Koons. There’s also a dazzling spoon-and-comb brooch by Salvador Dalí and a snazzy silver nipple rosary by Kendell Geers.
In the past, Venet has even commissioned new pieces for her unusual collection by talents who had never dabbled in the microsize genre, such as Kader Attia, Frank Stella, and Orlan.
“I’m careful to ask only those artists whom I think will find the request challenging and fun,” Venet says. “It’s important they recognize that the [jewelry] should be seen as an extension of their art-making.”
The wildly popular exhibit, which has earned critical raves on its travels across the globe, boasts a cache of baubles you’d never encounter on QVC.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: March 26. Continues through July 21, 2013