Duality of Presence

- from the co-curators, Kerianne Quick & Jess Tolbert


Duality of Presence takes an explicit look at a generation of American contemporary makers united by the urge to connect to things and the world. As we grapple with the legacy of [alternative] material use in art jewelry in the age of globalization - we are united in the urgency our works express to identify with and bring insight to what it means to be in the world now. This exhibition was born from a noticeable shared concern and strategy expressed in the work of curators, colleagues, and other makers in the field. Within the field of contemporary art jewelry many reject or limit the use of precious materials associated with conventional jewelry in favor of non-traditional materials, focusing on a formal expression that may be conceptual in some way, or simply aesthetic. However some contemporary practitioners, including the artists in this exhibition, are mining material - calling upon origins, sourcing, histories, and/or supply chain information to embed value into the materials they select and use. This excavation is a powerful tool for authenticating and enhancing their underlying concepts. 

Recognizing this shared methodology as an important movement in American contemporary art jewelry and metalsmithing, Duality of Presence defines and explores those engaged with ‘material specificity’ in their making. We position the term ‘material specificity’ as a way of looking towards how material communicates complex and distinct narratives. Thinking of materials as active agents in the creation of meaning pushes past the notion that they are meaningless conduits and asserts a more substantive role; as conveyors of information, bearers of histories, and assemblers of discourses. Material Specific Artists enter into a deliberate collaboration and cooperative act with materials in the pursuit of meaning.


Duality of Presence


Artists :


Jessica Anderson

Lynn Batchelder

Thea Clark

Nikki Couppee

Motoko Furuhashi

Steven Gordon Holman

Alexandra Hopp

Masumi Kataoka

Joshua Kosker

Tova Lund

Sharon Massey

Jaydan Moore

Wei Lah Poh

Kerianne Quick

Kaiya Rainbolt

Yumi Janairo Roth

Jina Seo

Demitra Thomloudis

Jess Tolbert




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