de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

Jeweled Prosthetics: Jewelry as Extension of Self
Catherine Grisez
Lauren Kalman

August 17 - December 2, 2012


Guest curated by Melissa Behravesh, Jeweled Prosthetics: Jewelry as Extension of Self explores jewelry that goes beyond the realm of conventional adornment, blurring the boundaries between jewelry, sculpture, fashion, photography, and performance. The exhibition features art jewelry by two contemporary American artists, Catherine Grisez and Lauren Kalman. Trained in the jewelry tradition, Grisez and Kalman alter, manipulate, or augment the landscape of the human body through their prosthetic gems. The artists utilize the architecture of the body to inform the fit and configuration, as well as the concept, of their jewelry objects. Because the jewelry is site specific, the viewer needs the wearer to activate the piece in order to comprehend its intent and function. Like medical prostheses, the wearable objects in Jeweled Prosthetics strive for seamless integration with the body—a "custom fit" for the wearer. However, unlike medical prostheses, which aim to conceal deformities, the gleaming prosthetic gems by Grisez and Kalman featured in this exhibition highlight and embellish the wearer's seen or unseen traumas, diseases, or imperfections. Approximately 25 works accompanied by photographs are included in the exhibit.

Image: Catherine Grisez, Regenerator (from the LICK multi-media project), 2010, copper, sterling silver, glass, and wood. Photo: Lucien Knuteson.