Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love
Power Station of Art (PSA), Shangai, China
01 July – 07 October, 2022
The “Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love” exhibition displays the universe of the High Jewelry Maison at the Power Station of Art, from July 1 to October 7, 2022. Over 300 jewelry creations, watches and precious objects produced since the Maison was founded in 1906 are gathered for the occasion. Archival documents, sketches, and gouache designs – illustrating the first steps in the creative process – stand alongside precious pieces from the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection, as well as loans from private collections.
Curated by Alba Cappellieri, Professor of Jewelry Design at Milan Polytechnic University and Director of the Vicenza Museum of Jewelry, the exhibition revolves around three sections: Time, Nature and Love. The art of jewelry maintains a complex relationship with time, ever in balance between the eternal and the ephemeral, tradition, and fashion. The exhibition demonstrates the prowess of Van Cleef & Arpels in thoroughly representing a fragmented age like the 20th century, embodying at once the timeless value of beauty and fleeting power of enchantment.
Drawing from Italian writer Italo Calvino‘s Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Alba Cappellieri chose key concepts through which she interprets the Maison’s creations and their relationship with time. The initial part on Time extends over ten sections, all focused on aspects emblematic of the period. The first one is dedicated to Paris, followed by the Elsewhere and the five values cited by Calvino: Lightness, Quickness, Visibility, Exactitude and Multiplicity. The next spaces highlight Intersections with other artistic disciplines, that is, dance, couture, and architecture. At the center of the exhibition, the Love-themed room displays creations – symbols and gifts of love – that have embodied the power of emotions, as tokens of some of the most mythical romances of the 20th century. Finally, the last section of the exhibition is dedicated to Nature, expressed through botany, flora and fauna.
This rare selection is showcased in an immersive scenography conceived by American architect-designer Johanna Grawunder. Using neon colored light, she created a poetic and mysterious space and conceived a monumental glass sculpture displayed in the Love room. Together with Michał Batory who invented a special typography and videos animations for the occasion, they contributed to highlight the timeless style of the Maison. The “Time, Nature, Love” exhibition offers visitors the chance to discover an enchanting vision in which the expert craftsmanship and pursuit of harmony at Van Cleef & Arpels come together as a veritable art form.