Industrial designer Gijs Bakker is recognized as one of the pioneers of Dutch Design for his jewelry and as the founder of the influential design collective Droog. He makes jewelry that challenges the very notion of what jewelry is—not surprising, coming from a man whose favorite catch phrase is: “No assumptions!”
Beginning in the sixties, together with his wife Emmy van Leersum, Gijs rejected the traditional approach to jewelry (transforming precious jewels into decorative jewelry) and set out to investigate the relation between body and object. Since then Gijs Bakker has created varied series of art jewelry, constantly using new materials and processes (Plexiglas, pvc, linen, color photos, even 3D modeling and rapid prototyping), and attracting an intensely dedicated group of collectors along the way.
In celebration of Design Miami, Caroline Van Hoek Contemporary Art Jewelry of Brussels has assembled a timeline of Gijs Bakker’s jewelry designs, from 1977 to 2011. “We will have a selection of the remaining important pieces of his jewelry,” Caroline notes. “Much of his previous work has been sold to museums and important collectors, such as Helen Drutt,” who assembled a world-class art jewelry collection, now owned by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Included are: Elizabeth II necklace from the Queens series, 1977; The Adam necklace, 1988; and pieces from his series Sportsfigures, 1998; I Don’t Wear Jewels, I Drive Them, 2001; REAL, 2004-2008; and his newest, Virtual Multiple, 2011. Chair with Holes, which he designed for Droog, will also be on display. A not-to-be-missed chance to see the work of one of our times’ most influential designers.