My agenda

19 December 2018

“Un miroir d’obsidienne” at the Pierre-Alain Challier gallery

Gallery owner Pierre-Alain Challier asked 13 artists to create mirrors and jewelry using a little-known black stone: Armenian obsidian.

 

 

“Obsidian elevated man to the state of human: when we speak of the Stone Age in the East, we are talking about obsidian, not flint,” explains Pierre-Alain Challier. The ultra-black stone was used to make the pupils of the funeral mask of Tutankhamun‘s eyes or the mirrors with which the dead were buried. Then it disappeared…” The Soviet bloc prevented imports from Armenia,” continues Michel der Agobian, a specialist in the obsidian extracted from Mount Ararat. “It was used to make souvenirs for tourists.”

 

Variations on black

Jean-Luc Parant and Jean-Michel Othoniel created a raw block of obsidian with polished edges. Parant shaped it into figures evoking archaeology and then mounted it on a string. Othoniel then suspended it on a necklace made of glass beads, his favourite material, helping us to see the similarity of the shards. Mattia Bonetti cut perfectly round pearls from a block and then set them in transparent resin. Anne and Patrick Poirier imagined geometric architectural shapes assembled as in a construction set, in a huge necklace.

 

Arik Levy, crazy about obsidian

Arik Levy is the inspired artist who created the largest number of pieces. The black cubes encrusted with rings and the obsidian rock equipped with a chain and handcuffs are conceptual. He questions the desire to possess ever bigger stones, to the point that they become unwearable and turn us into slaves. Arik Levy finally explores the specificity  of Armenian obsidian: a transparent material with black veins reminiscent of wood, positioning them both horizontally and vertically, across each other.

 

Drawing on the work of goldsmiths, sculptors, designers, architects and plastic artists, Michel der Agobian and Pierre Alain-Challier have propelled obsidian into modernity.

 

“Miroirs d’obsidienne, Miroirs et bijoux d’artistes” until 12 January 2019

 

Banner image: Arik Levy – Sculpture-jewel “Hold me tight” (detail)

Most popular articles

Attend the conference "Renaissance Jewelry" at The School of Jewelry Arts

Don’t miss the upcoming Evening Conversation at The School of Jewelry Arts. It will explore a golden age of jewelry: the Renaissance.

Treat yourself to an enameled watch from the Fondation Napoléon at Artcurial

The Fondation Napoléon is selling a group of pieces falling outside the Napoleon I and Napoleon III periods, including some exquisite 18thand 19th century...

The Sotheby’s Paris Buccellati sale

In its Paris sale on 29 October, Sotheby’s will be offering 26 pieces by the Italian jeweler Buccellati to celebrate its centenary.

Jewelry is everywhere 

… even where you least expect it! Don’t miss the key exhibitions all over the word, from Paris to NYC via Pforzheim.

European Heritage Days: 10 must-see venues

Here are some essential sights for lovers of jewelry and precious stones, among the places open for free visits during the 36th European Heritage Days.

Lacloche, a book and an exhibition

For the first time, Lacloche, a French jeweler that has quite vanished from the collective memory, is the focus of an exhibition at L’École des Arts...