20th Anniversary, 20 Canadian Artists, 20 International Artists
“Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h is involved in a grand scheme. They want more people to know that there is an art form that you can wear.” Susan Cummins, Chair of Art Jewellery Forum, Art Jewellery Collector of the Rotasa Foundation.
When Noel Guyomarc’h first encountered contemporary jewellery, in 1992, his initial reaction was one of shock. He was working as an assistant in a jewellery boutique in Montreal, when artist Barbara Stutman walked in with a bracelet made of pink plastic tubing and silver wire. Deeply intrigued by this new piece, Guyomarc’h began looking at jewellery as more than ornamentation. He realized that it could convey a message, have meaning, and denote an entirely new approach, one both aesthetic and conceptual. In subsequent years, he met a number of artists who helped him develop his thinking on the subject and in 1996 decided to open his own gallery, devoted entirely to contemporary jewellery.
For over 20 years Guyomarc’h has acted as curator, advisor and promoter. He is widely recognized for his taste and experience and is considered one of the foremost specialists in contemporary jewellery, both in Quebec and abroad. He has organized more than 90 individual and group shows, including a number of travelling exhibitions. Guyomarc’h is regularly invited to give lectures and sit on juries, and also acts as an appraiser for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
In promoting exhibitions, engaging in discussion with artists and organizing creativity workshops, Noel Guyomarc’h has succeeded in encouraging many artists to pursue their exploration of the art form. He has also offered them greater visibility, both through his gallery and on the international scene, as was recently seen at SOFA Chicago. To look at jewellery as an art object, to expose it to new sources of inspiration and to explore new ways of producing and interpreting it are just some of the approaches the gallery focuses on. It highlights artists who have an original and innovative process, who examine jewellery’s significance and impact, its relationship to the body, the potential and limitations of new materials and techniques, and who, to put it in a nutshell, strive to reinvent the art form.
From a small space in an artists’ centre on rue Ste-Catherine, the gallery moved first to 137 av. Laurier before settling on boul. St-Laurent five years ago. Today, it is the only gallery in Canada dedicated solely to contemporary jewellery.
It is with great pride that Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h celebrates its 20th birthday on November 25, 2016.
For the occasion, the gallery will present a new exhibition entitled “20/20/20: 20th Anniversary, 20 Canadian Artists, 20 International Artists”, with a focus on the work of major artists who have collaborated with Noel Guyomarc’h for many years. In all, forty artists–-20 Canadians and 20 from abroad–-answered his call and will present new works of jewellery, some made especially for this anniversary.
“20/20/20” will highlight the diversity and richness of this artistic practice, while illustrating Noel Guyomarc’h’s achievements of the last 20 years. It will feature work by internationally recognized jewellers such as Ramon Puig Cuyas of Spain, American artist Rebecca Hannon and Canada’s Paul McClure, who recently received the prestigious Saidye Bronfman Award. It will also present jewellery by emerging young artists such as Gabrielle Desmarais, Despo Sophocleous and Anne-Marie Rébillard, all of whom have greatly benefited from Noel’s support and encouragement.
20 Canadian Artists
Gabrielle Desmarais / Pierre-Yves Paquette / Janis Kerman / Anne Fauteux / Anne-Marie Rébillard / Christine Larochelle / Despo Sophocleous / Barbara Stutman / Petra Luz / Pamela Ritchie / Paul McClure / Silvie Altschuler / Vivenne Jones / Bridget Catchpole / Lawrence Woodford / Kye-Yeon Son / Jan Smith / Christine Dwane / Dorothée Rosen / Josée Desjardins
20 International Artists
Ramon Puig Cuyas / Silvia Walz / Peter Hoogeboom / Andrea Wagner / Judy McCaig / Grego Garcia Tebar / Shu-Lin Wu / Ela Bauer / Sandra Enterline / Mirjam Hiller / Luzia Vogt / Edith Bellod / Yong Joo Kim / Rebecca Hannon / Silke Spitzer / Yu Hiraishi / Biba Schutz / Monika Brugger / Dina Abargil / Arthur Hash
“20/20/20” will be on view at Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h
from November 25, 2016, to February 25, 2017.
Noel Guyomarc’h is honoured to have received praise from a number of highly respected figures in the field.
Melanie Egan, director of Craft and Design, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto Toni Greenbaum, Art historian specializing in 20th and 21st century jewelry and metalwork, Brooklyn Susan Cummins, Chair of Art Jewellery Forum, Art Jewellery Collector of the Rotasa Foundation Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
‘Much like contemporary art, contemporary jewellery expands our view of ourselves, culture and the world-at-large. The uniqueness and attraction of contemporary jewellery is its connection to the body; conveying message and meaning at an intimate level. Jewellery artists exploit and re-contextualize the perception and place of jewellery in a contemporary society. The body is the mode of transit and threshold for communicating ideas thus contemporary jewellery is a potent vehicle of self expression. At the vanguard, supporting this creative practice is the indefatigable Noel Guyomarc’h, who for over 20 years has been the champion, educator and advocate for contemporary jewellery in Canada and internationally through his superb gallery and outreach activities.’
Melanie Egan, Director of Craft & Design, Harbourfront Centre
As an art historian specializing in 20th/21st century jewelry and metalwork, I’ve followed the trajectory of Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h since its inception. I was introduced to the gallery shortly after it opened, at its first location in a downtown cultural building, as I was associated with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts at the time, and was visiting the city frequently. I credit Noel with exposing me to the richness of jewelry from Canada, although he certainly shows some of the best international work, as well. Noel’s knowledge of the field is boundless; his taste impeccable. I wish him continued success, as he adds a unique perspective to a broad-based aesthetic.
Toni Greenbaum, Brooklyn, New York; author, Messengers of Modernism: American Studio Jewelry, 1940-1960.
The Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h is involved in a grand scheme. They want more people to know that there is an art form that you can wear. It is called art jewelry and it is mostly made by well educated jewelers who use unconventional materials and techniques with great skill to express new ideas about jewelry. The gallery is dedicated to explaining what the artists are saying. It is a full time job creating an understanding of this new but at the same time ancient art form. Their exhibitions and displays give value and visibility to this medium in order to increase the audience. Museums collect it and write about it and Noel Guyomarc’h plays a big role in promoting it.
Susan Cummins, Chair of Art Jewelry Forum, art jewelry collector and Director of the Rotasa Foundation