Crystallization of Time

From October 2 to December 16, 2019, the Cartier exhibition Crystallization of Time at the National Art Center of Tokyo offered a previously unseen look at the Maison’s style. 

 

This unique vision could be seen through a selection of exceptional historical and contemporary pieces which joined a long chronological range: from the more contemporary, provided by private parties, to both modern and vintage creations from the Cartier Collection. Never before has such a collection been brought together for the public.

Created by Hiroshi Sugimoto and Tomoyuki Sakakida from the New Material Research Laboratory, this 35th exhibition dedicated to Cartier explored the creative vision and pioneering spirit of the Maison in three acts: Material Transformation and Colors, Forms and Designs, and Universal Curiosity.

First Chapter: Material Transformation and Colors. Four canopies draped with gathered traditional Sha veils, with window displays in Hinoki cypress, created a sacred setting where the art of color unfolded through Cartier's material work and expertise. Red, green, black: one of Cartier’s prized chromatic harmonies is found on a brooch from 1925 where the coral contrasts with the emerald, onyx and diamonds. A powerful wedding ring, reinterpreted in 2015 to create a bracelet in chrysoprase, onyx, coral and diamonds. 

 

Bracelet,

Cartier, 2015

Private collection

 

Brooch,

Cartier New York, special order, 1925

Cartier collection 

In the Forms and Designs space, blocks of Oyaishi, volcanic rocks acted as window supports and evoked the depths of the Earth, the origin of all of Cartier’s gemstones. With its mastery of design, Cartier infuses its creations with kinetic art. A bracelet from 2014 and a neck plate from 1903 both have the same perspective effect and the same set of depth – the art of movement in jewelry.

 

Bracelet,

Cartier, 2014

Private collection

 

Neck plate,

Cartier Paris, 1903

Cartier collection

The last stage, Universal Curiosity, illustrated Cartier’s curiosity of the entire world, from nature to culture and civilizations, through a spectacular 52 ft-long window display. Two brooches from 1903 which are a figurative representation of ferns, and a necklace from 2018 in the style of a cherry blossom, embody Cartier’s creative amplitude, from naturalism to abstraction.

 

Necklace,

Cartier, 2018

Private collection

 

Set of brooches in the shape of fern branches

Cartier Paris, 1903

Cartier collection