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December 2, 2009updated Feb 13, 2013

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain Presents the Cartier “Salon Précieux”

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Exhibited for the first time at Art Basel Miami Beach, two works of art that use fine and precious stones from a collection of gems that can no longer be used in classical jewelery will be displayed in an original lounge designed by the Mendini Ateliers. Commissioned by Cartier, the artists give a second life to pearls, engraved emeralds, sapphires, mandarin garnets, moonstones, diamond paving, and chalcedonies.

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and Cartier entrusted these projects to the renowned Italian architect-designer Alessandro Mendini, featured at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 2002 in the exhibition Fragilisme, and to the artist-filmmaker David Lynch, whose exhibition The Air is on Fire was shown at the Fondation Cartier in 2007.

The “precious column” conceived by Mendini was realized in collaboration with Cartier Joaillerie. These incredible gems were sorted according to category before being placed within crystal cylinders and inserted into pink-gold flutes. This column, 7.5-feet high, required over 18 months of work, evolving from the initial sketches to the final creation. In accordance with the principles of Greco-Roman architecture, the artist ingeniously stacked several cylinders around a central axis.

David Lynch chose to recreate an everyday object; his Jeweled Triangle lamp explores our relationship with objects, our connection with light and the symbolic power of precious stones. A machine in motion, this brilliant work creates a unique atmosphere in which the rhythmic movement of colored gems, combined with the effects of refracted light on smooth metal, reveal the hypnotic power of precious stones.

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