Artist-Designed 18kt Gold Earclips, Alicia Penalba
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Artist-Designed 18kt Gold Earclips, Alicia Penalba, France, each of abstract form, and converted from cuff links, together with findings each no. 2/8, French maker's mark for Gennari, Paris, signed AP.
Note: Alicia Penalba (1913-1982) was an Argentinian sculptor who moved to Paris in the 1940s. The verticality of her sculptures represents petrified exotic plants.
Note: Property from the Estate of Joan Sonnabend, lots 260-402.
Joan Sonnabend opened her tiny gallery at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1973. She started with a 100-piece collection of "sculptures to wear". Included in the pins, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, were works by such artists as Man Ray, Pol Bury, Picasso, Arp, and Calder. She was never a jeweler, but an art dealer. From the time she graduated Sarah Lawrence with an art degree, she always knew she wanted to open a gallery. After opening Sculpture to Wear, many artists sought her out to create items for the gallery. She became friendly with many of them, and maintained these relationships for many years. In 1973, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, mounted a show called "Jewelry As Sculpture as Jewelry." The intent of the show was to elevate body ornament to the level of art. It showcased artists and jewelers who were especially interested in using various and unconventional materials. Joan Sonnabend's gallery at the Plaza was in part responsible for the exhibition and the creation of a market for artists' jewelry. For me personally, Joan opened my eyes to the interplay between jewelry, sculpture, adornment, and art. She always believed in the power of art and remained an art dealer until her passing.