Gallery Loupe is proud to present Intimate Friendships by Australian master jeweler Robert Baines, a new group of necklaces in which he explores the multifaceted relationship between knowing, feeling and gesture, using the jewel as agent. Through these mighty but airy works, Baines reveals a “multiplicity of familiarities” that illuminate the human condition, while at the same time cautioning us that “The dissimilar remains. [And] discovering [happiness] through jubilation and elation can be followed by tears, grief and sorrow.” In works such as Multiplicity and the Perception series, Baines illustrates that wearing jewelry enhances one’s knowledge of oneself, forging a “friendship” between the like and unalike.

Robert Baines is both a jeweler and scholar. One of the most prominent contemporary goldsmiths in the world, he is the recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Bayerischer State Prize (2005) and Friedrich Becker Prize (2008) from Germany; and the Cicely and Colin Rigg Craft Award (1997), the richest craft prize in Australia. He holds a PhD from RMIT in Melbourne, where he is a professor of gold and silversmithing. In 2010, he was designated a Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft. Baines’ astonishingly detailed metalwork, which reflects studies in archeometallurgy, embodies ancient techniques such as linear wirework and ranulation but with the scale, grandeur, and irony of current practice. He sometimes incorporates objects, either found or fabricated, into his complex “worlds.”

One of Baines’ most potent themes is the fabrication of alternate realities using ancient and historical formats and techniques to create jewels that serve as material evidence of “conspiracies.” Robert Baines: Living Treasure and Fabulous Follies was in Boston at Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Bakalar & Paine Galleries from January 17-March 2, 2018, after which it traveled to the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, here it recently closed. It will also be seen at the Indiana University Eskenazi Museum of Art in Bloomington (dates to be announced).

After being shown at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2006); Designmuseo, Helsinki (2008); Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt (2008-2009); and andwerkskammer für München und Oberbayern, Munich, a current version of another exhibition, Fake News and True Love, will be at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York from October 16, 2018 until March 3, 2019. On Thursday, October 18, 2018, from 6:30-8:00pm, Baines will deliver a “performative lecture” titled, Vladimir [as in Putin], it’s not about you!!!

Robert Baines’ work is in countless international museum collections, including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Powerhouse Museum, Sidney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg;and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.