Gijs Bakker, a Dutch design pioneer of contemporary jewelry

Gijs Bakker, un design néerlandais précurseur du bijou contemporain

1. An avant-garde designer

Gijs Bakker was born in 1942 in the Netherlands. After studying industrial design and jewelry, he began working in collaboration with Emmy Van Leersum, a designer of contemporary jewelry with minimalist and architectural lines.

Emmy and Gijs in their workshop

“Emmy van Leersum and Gijs Bakker, whose avant-garde departures are already a thing of the past, have constantly moved forward with innovative ideas. Their revolt against the formal norms of modern jewelry in the sixties propelled them to international prominence.Hemen Drutt.

Bracelet designed by Emmy van Leersum, 1979

2. The Droog Design

In 1993, Bakker founded Droog Design, assisted by a famous design critic and historian, Renny Ramakers. Both want to work with independent designers from all backgrounds to design products that they bring together before then exhibiting them to the public. They both received the Benno Premsela Prize (former Dutch design prize) in 2007.

Commode by Tejo Remy 1991, one of the first pieces selected by Bekker.

3. Chi ha Paura...? The jewelry revolution

In 1996, Bakker staged the exhibition “Chi ha Paura…?”, which means “Who is afraid of…?” with the Italian gallery owner Marijke Vallanzasca. Their goal is to show the world that jewelry is much more than a decorative fashion accessory. He provokes, breaks the codes of the time and defies fear for contemporary jewelry by developing modern and more accessible lines.

For Bakker, jewelry is no longer a simple ceremonial element, it joins the field of decorative arts

Gijs Bakker 1967

« In the 1960s, Gijs Bakker made hypertrophied jewelry in aluminum and steel to dismantle those that were too traditional and too precious. He wants to be modern, explains specialist Benjamin Lignel. Categorizing contemporary jewelry no longer seems necessary to me because younger people are unaware of this issue or hardly care about it. »

Bracelet - Circle in Circle, 1972

3. Linking craftsmanship and industrial design

In 2009, Bakker became creative director of Gallery Han in Taiwan. His goal ? Strengthen the links between contemporary design and local tradition. To do this, he collaborates with world-famous companies such as Polaroid, HEMA, Artifort and his creations cover both jewelry and household appliances.

Bakker for Hema, 1996

Today, he is still at the head of Droog Design and continues to inspire with his modern, contemporary vision of jewelry which he sees as a sculpture that comes to life on the body like this ring, Damesarmband.

Bracelet - Damesarmband, 1986

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