Detail of Honor the Chickens. Breastplate, 2018 - 2019. Inked paper, painted chicken bones, silver, leather
Gallery Loupe and The Jewelry Library are proud to present Paper as Protection and Gift / Recent Work by Kiff Slemmons. In this exhibition, American artist Kiff Slemmons continues to investigate past jewelry forms through an ongoing exploration of paper as a material. These works address the simultaneous strength and fragility of paper, the historical and cultural significance of the material, and the use of paper and jewelry as a way to both protect and connect.
Paper as Protection and Gift
That paper is ephemeral and yet strong is true.
That paper is the site of poetry,
metaphors for change,
notes of exchange,
is also true.
is a material
to the past
and traditions of preciousness and value
may be unexpectedly true.
that the handmade
in a culture separate from our own,
rolled into beads, the very first form of jewelry
and turned into breastplates
honoring the complicated history of their predecessors
is true and present in this exhibition.
In the context of precariousness
in current culture,
armor for protection and dignity
taps into the humanity of jewelry.
- Kiff Slemmons
Kiff Slemmons, self-taught in metalsmithing, is an American artist of international repute. Known for her work with non-precious materials, she has collaborated over many years with the artisans of Arte Papel in Oaxaca, Mexico to produce jewelry using indigenous handmade paper. Slemmons holds a Bachelor's Degree from University of Iowa, where she majored in art and French, studying for a year at the Sorbonne in Paris. Her work is included in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Art and Design (New York), Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich), among others. In 2000, the Palo Alto Art Center in California mounted a retrospective of her work titled The Thought of Things, which traveled to The Contemporary Museum in Hawaii. A traveling exhibition, Re:Pair and Imperfection, originated at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2006, and was shown later at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. In November 2007 Slemmons was interviewed for the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. She has been published regularly in American Craft and Metalsmith, as well as in anthologies of American and European jewelry.
The Jewelry Library is a collaborative space curated for jewelry people by jewelry people. Founded in 2018, TJL hosts a wide range of exhibitions, talks, and events all across the jewelry-spectrum, collaborating with both contemporary and vintage gallerists, artists, and collectors, as well as storytellers, historians, makers, and wearers. Along with a small archive, library, and gallery space–which houses the TJL collection of books and jewelry–there is a penthouse space, The Great Room @ The Jewelry Library, for larger community gatherings.
Paper as Protection and Gift runs from May 4 - 24 at The Jewelry Library.
1239 Broadway, Suite 800, NY, NY 10001.
Monday-Friday 11-7pm, Saturday 11-3pm
An opening reception with Kiff Slemmons in conversation with Helen Drutt will be held on Friday, May 3 at 6:30 pm in The Great Room @ The Jewelry Library. RSVP