My work is not made of appearances. I'd like it to be something that comes from the inside, that expresses an inwardness; however, I want it to stay discreet, I want to connect the object I make with the person I am. So I use pure geometrical forms because they suit me, and I try to make them sensitive, to communicate something of myself in these forms.
Modern Handmade Jewelry
Jewelry is one of the most graphic indicators of personal identity. In sync with the body, it helps to define the individuals who wear it. Jewelry is also among the most revealing examples of material culture. The necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and brooches worn by people throughout the ages contain powerful clues about the eras, traditions, habitations, and societies in which they lived.
To this day, jewelry continues to act as an important signifier. The twentieth century, along with the first two decades of the twenty-first, is particularly rich in what we refer to as “studio jewelry.” Studio jewelry, which is invariably handmade, can simply celebrate process and provide an alternative to fine or costume jewelry, but it can also harbor deeper meanings—concepts far beyond jewelry’s usual function as decoration, commemoration, or talisman. Studio jewelry exists at the nexus of art, craft, and design, often reflecting aesthetic concerns, theoretical doctrines, political agendas, or popular trends. Most studio jewelry is either unique or produced in limited edition. It can be fabricated from precious metals and gemstones, or created from materials outside the norm, or both. Studio jewelry may be easy to wear, or present tactical challenges. All in all, it is a most compelling adornment—whether we regard it technically, stylistically, artistically, or even existentially.
Born in 1947 in Padua, Giampaolo Babetto originally trained to be an architect in the 1960s, but when he realized he loved working directly with materials, he became a jeweler. As part of the venerated Padua School, Babetto looked to traditional goldsmith techniques and the rigorous, immaculate forms of the Renaissance (particularly those of architect Andrea Palladio) to create concrete, elegant pieces. He describes his “empty but solid” works as having “an inwardness”—sensitive objects that, by avoiding excessive decoration, “have a soul.” Babetto’s work has also evolved to be in conversation with the heroic forms of contemporary minimalists like Carl Andre and Donald Judd and his inclusion of enamel, beginning in the 1980s, was inspired by an exhibition of Japanese lacquerware that he saw at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Auction Results Giampaolo Babetto