Marble, Modernised

Pablo Atchugarry’s chic sculptures are the makings of his deep connection to nature.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Pablo Atchugarry’s chic sculptures are the makings of his deep connection to nature.

The metres-high sculptures flown in to take pride of place at Orchard Road this month have been created by an artist from halfway around the world.

Their lines evoke the birds of paradise and intermingling stalks of vegetation found in the Botanic Gardens, which impressed Uruguayan artist Pablo Atchugarry on this, his first trip here for an exhibition at Opera Gallery Singapore and, by extension, Singapore’s busiest intersection.

“He’s well known in Europe and America, but not so much in Asia, so we decided to bring him in,” says gallery manager Irene Chee. Abstract in form, and displaying slender folds and pleats, Atchugarry’s sculptures are rooted in the theme of growth, and stretch upwards, seeking the sky  – even when his favoured material, marble, which he refers to as “children of the mountain” is linked to the earth.

In a career spanning over four decades, the 64-year-old has had exhibitions in such major cities as London, Rome, Miami, New York, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires. Forest Bird, a 2m tall sculpture priced at $500,000, and one of Atchugarry’s favourite, is displayed in Opera Gallery.

He muses that his creative process is influenced by moments in his life, and in particular his feelings – open or closed, vulnerable or protective, and so on – when he is about to begin carving. He describes this as a dialogue between him as an artist and the medium he’s working with. Pablo Atchugarry will be on until Oct 14, Opera Gallery Singapore, Ion Orchard.



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Having created dazzling jewellery for women for over a century, Roman jeweller Bulgari has been privy to their changing attitudes towards its designs and the gemstones used.

In Tribute to Femininity, its exhibition in Russia, Bulgari charts the evolution of jewellery design from geometric, linear pieces reflecting a 1920s French-school style to bold, vibrant works of the experimental 1970s, and the more simplistic designs of the 1990s.

More than 500 of the house’s creations, including those made for screen legends (see below) and aristocrats, will be on display until Jan 13 next year at the Moscow Kremlin State Historical and Cultural Museum and Heritage Site.

Clearly, Moscow will sparkle with the light of precious stones this winter.
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In the emotionally charged The Visit (1964), Bergman wore only Bulgari to complement her role as an uberwealthy woman. She said the pieces epitomised strength and passion. At the museum is an intricate gold necklace studded with diamonds.
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From glittering tiaras to bejewelled necklaces, Lollobrigida wore many of her Bulgari pieces during special moments in her life. On display are her necklaces and bracelets with large emeralds set in platinum and surrounded by diamonds.
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The star of the legendary La Dolce Vita, Ekberg was a huge Bulgari jewellery lover, and wore many of its pieces to red carpet events. On exhibition is a brooch, earring and bracelet set created with contrasting pale and dark blue sapphires.
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If you have been relying on connections to gain access to the reserve collections of Parisian museums, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief!

As part of Sculpture Week, which begins on Nov 7 as part of the international art fair Fine Arts Paris, major museums such as the Louvre and the City of Paris Museums will host private tours of their reserve sculptures. Think the gritty faces of 19th century artist Antoine Bourdelle, the abstract works of Marcel Duchamp, and the 3-D art of Paul Cezanne.

Of course, these will not be for sale, but there are plenty of other pieces at the fair that you can add to your own private collection.
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“Big girls need big diamonds.”