The final stage of the tour of the Preziosa Young 2021 competition exhibition around Europe is presented in Barcelona. Promoted and organised by Le Arti Orafe Jewellery School in Florence, Preziosa‘s goal is to capture and popularize new instances of contemporary jewellery by allowing the winners to deepen and promote their research. This year, the winners are Xinia Guan and Zhipeng Wang from China, Anne Lahn Hornbæk Hansen from Denmark, Pilynn Siriphanich from Thailand, and Charlotte Vanhoubroeck from Belgium.
Right in the beating heart of Barcelona, in the crowded Eixample district, not far from some of the most famous masterpieces of Gaudían modernist architecture such as Casa Milà or Casa Batllò, the Hannah Gallery overlooks, founded and directed since 2007 by Amador Bertomeu & Leo Caballero.
The gallery was born as an outcome of a larger project, the online platform of contemporary jewellery Klimt02, which since 2004 has been committed to spreading the word of research jewellery, promoting the work of its most promising protagonists.
Bertomeu & Caballero’s space is an elegant setting with a minimal design, suitable for representing internationally renowned artists who have adopted jewellery as a direct expression of artistic invention, translation of a specific aesthetic vision into a wearable object. Amongst others, the Austrian Fritz Maierhofer (1941), the Swiss Otto Künzli (1948), the German Therese Hilbert (1948), the Swede Tore Svensson (1948), the Dutch Annelies Planteijdt (1956), the Dane Kim Buck (1957) stand out. Also, among the followers of later generations, the Dutchwoman Manon Van Kouswijk (1967), the New Zealander Lisa Walker (1967), the Paduan Stefano Marchetti (1970), the Catalan Marc Monzò (1973), and the most recent promises of contemporary jewellery, such as the Canadian Aurélie Guillaume (1990) or the German Esther Heite(1991).
The founders’ curatorial criteria direct the choice towards authors whose work is a “synthesis resulting from the combination of different concepts: language, memory, research, character, materials and technique. The gallery”, they write on the website, “works primarily to show the creative and symbolic values of the pieces”, manifesting the clear purpose of broadening the public of art jewellery enthusiasts as much as possible.
The gallery’s commitment to fulfilling its mission is reflected in the busy calendar of exhibitions organised annually, including, coming in the new year, the third and final stage of the travelling exhibition Preziosa Young 2021, promoted and organised by LAO – Le Arti Orafe Jewellery School in Florence.
After the success at the Galleria Del Palazzo Coveri as part of Florence Jewellery Week 2022 and the happy debut in the Netherlands thanks to the collaboration with Doreen Timmers’ Galerie Door in Mariaheide, a selection of the jewellery pieces by the winners of the latest edition of the homonymous competition finally reached Spain.
The exhibition opens on 18 January and runs until 10 February 2023, hosting wearable artworks by the Chinese Zhipeng Wang and Xinia Guan, the Thai Pilynn Siriphanich, the Belgian Charlotte Vanhoubroeck and the Danish Anne Lahn Hornbæk Hansen, the five under, 35 award winners of the international Preziosa Young competition, held annually by the historic Florentine academy of contemporary jewellery since 2008.
The quality of the winning projects, decreed in absolute transparency by a jury of art experts, including gallery owners, historians, teachers and artists themselves, guarantees the authority and novelty of the contest results.
In addition to the opportunity of the touring exhibition, LAO offers further prizes – extraordinary opportunities for its assignees to deepen or promote their work. In fact, the collaboration with the Munich event Inhorgenta will enable Charlotte Vanhoubroeck, already the winner of the art residency offered by the school, to obtain a personal exhibition space during the famous German fair. During her three-month stay in Florence, the Belgian goldsmith and art historian continued her investigation into the reactivation of the lost sentimental jewellery that belonged to Queen Louise-Marie d’Orléans and held a workshop on this subject for second-year LAO students. Furthermore, the editing and publication of a catalogue with high-resolution colour images and critical contributions by art historian Alice Rendon, teacher of Contemporary Jewellery History at the school, accompanies the European tour of the exhibition from its first stop in Florence.
Back in 2021, the Hannah Gallery hosted a selection of pieces by the PY2020 winners: Chia-Hsien Lin from Taiwan, Elwy Schutten from the Netherlands, Jess Tolbert from the United States, Marie Masson from France, Rachael Colley from the United Kingdom, Zihan Yang and Dongyi Wu from China.
In addition, the Klimt02 platform has been a media partner in the various editions of the Preziosa/ Florence Jewellery Week project, conceived, curated and organised biannually by LAO.
The close and long-standing collaboration between LAO and the duo Leo & Amador is thus strengthened with this new appointment, also representing a great opportunity for the young winners of this internationally renowned competition, who will now have the chance to exhibit the outcomes of their research in an artistic space of relevance to the history of contemporary jewellery.