From Fabric to Metal / From Wood to Canvas / From Small Scale to Large


On December 4th, 2015, Lireille Gallery of Contemporary Jewelry & Art will hold a reception for three Swiss artists from 5:30 pm to 8:30pm at 3980 Piedmont Ave, Oakland California.  The gallery will display the artists’ newest work from December 1st, 2015 to January 31st, 2016. The work presented will feature Monica Schmid, Reiner Keller, Jean-Pierre Brandt.

All of the three artists’ lives began in early 20th-century Switzerland. They all absolved a traditional apprenticeship in a trade to enable them to make a living until “the end of their lives.” Their dreams had to be shelved when long working days filled their lives. Today’s life span far exceeds that of earlier times and gives opportunities to – as Joseph Campbell said – “follow our bliss.” Thanks to these changes and their life in a new country, new opportunities arose. All three broke their shackles and freed themselves from the drudgery of rigid and structured work. The feelings of artistic freedom are engraved in Monica’s stylized and nature-inspired jewelry, Reiner’s abstract and sensuous figures on canvas and in Jean-Pierre’s play with scale, his large sculptures mirrored in jewelry.
Monica Schmid traded fabric and thread for the secret pliability of fire heated metal. Instead of designing or constructing apparel, she creates one-of-a-kind art jewelry. She starts the design process by closing her eyes and drawing shapes on paper, allowing her subconscious to dictate the next piece. This exhibit showcases her latest work, a combination of enamel, unconventional and precious metals and stones. Her designs embody stylized, clean forms with an allusion to nature.

Reiner Keller traded the minutia and precise work of a furniture maker for a free flowing creativity with paint and canvas. He starts out painting with fear, expectation and daring, using large forceful brush strokes. Gradually, shapes and colors may appear and rekindle emotions and memories long lost or never lived. His paintings, like life, are never “finished.” He leaves room for himself and others to continue the search for a place in the family of things.

Jean-Pierre Brandt explores dimensions, distances and their relations and how diverse materials and intentions play together. A sculpture inspired by a massive piece of iron can be the connecting tissue to the creation of a hand fabricated jewelry design or “wearable sculpture”. In Jean-Pierre, the goldsmith and the sculptor are working together like brothers giving life to their inner dialogue which emphasizes the importance to pay attention to “small” as we often are impress by “big.”


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