The Artist Behind Our Latest Inspiration
Often, design inspiration is drawn straight from mother nature herself: beautiful, original and unbeatable. But sometimes, it comes from another plane.
NAJO’s newest seasonal collection, La Tierra, draws its inspiration from the earth, but its most geometric designs are also heavily influenced by the work of pioneering artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007).
Who was Sol LeWitt?
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the death of the Connecticut-born painter and sculptor, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of Conceptual Art and the American Minimal Art movement. At the heart of these artistic movements were simplified, geometric forms which blurred the lines between painting and sculpture. Along with line drawings, sculpture and paintings, LeWitt’s later works included huge and very colourful wall paintings of playful curves, angles and shapes, the most impressive of which can be seen together on specially built walls taking up three storeys of a former mill building in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Today, Sol LeWitt’s groundbreaking geometrical artworks are famously seen adorning the outside of the GEM Museum for Contemporary Art building in The Hague, Netherlands.
When art and jewellery collide
Even after a cursory glance at this building you can readily see how the artist’s flat-yet-dimensional shapes would be incredibly evocative to a jewellery designer. These five geometric shapes are as notable for the areas they enclose as for the spaces they leave unfilled.
At NAJO, we took this concept and applied it to pieces such as our Hex Ring, which looks equally graphic both on and off the finger (even hung on a chain around the neck).
A democratic approach to design
By installing his geometric shapes onto the outside of a prominent building, LeWitt was communicating one of his strong beliefs that art should be democratic – it should be freely available for everybody to admire. In the same way, when you wear exquisitely designed jewellery you are actively, openly sharing a part of your personal story with the world around you, adding beauty one shape at a time. We think that would make Sol LeWitt proud.