Audemars Piguet’s Latest Collaboration Brings Swiss Jura Mountains to Art Basel
The latest lounge concept from Audemars Piguet will be presented at Art Basel Hong Kong, Basel and Miami Beach in 2019.
The passage of time, without a doubt, is a concept central to the process of manufacturing watches. In its latest collaboration with Brooklyn-based sculptural artist and designer Fernando Mastrangelo, Audemars Piguet will take visitors of this year’s Art Basel to its home in the Swiss Jura Mountains and invite a contemplation of how the Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer’s environment inspires the creation of their timeless watch pieces.
Art Basel is a premier art show staged annually in Basel (Switzerland), Miami Beach (Florida) and Hong Kong, a platform where leading galleries from around the globe showcase established and emerging artists with their most excellent modern and contemporary works that makes this event a highly anticipated one for artists, collectors, curators, critics and art enthusiasts across the globe. Audemars Piguet, an Associate Partner of Art Basel since 2013, is bringing an extraordinary lounge concept to the shows this year, as imagined by Mastrangelo.
At its inaugural Art Basel lounge, French designer Sebastien Leon Agneessens created Between Now and Then, in which visitors are introduced to Audemars Piguet’s place of origin, Le Brassus. It follows Mathieu Lehanneur’s lounge concept, called Mineral Lab, in 2014, which explored the themes of technology versus nature. Sebastian Errazuriz then designed a dynamic and immersive lounge, which are complemented with Audemars Piguet’s presentation at each Art Basel show – a trilogy of lounge concepts inspired by three core natural materials to Vallée de Joux: ice, wood and ore, in 2016, 2017, 2018, respectively.
This year’s lounge concept, titled The Vallée, evokes Audemars Piguet’s home through seamless gradients of tones and textures. The space was inspired by the Vallée de Joux and is composed of repurposed and crushed elements from its landscape, thus expressing a sense of nature’s purity and the ponderings over the passage of time. In his creation, Mastrangelo deconstructed and reconstructed nature by playing with time’s geological manifestations, and placing a conversation of the past and present to the space.
The lounge features a stratified wall, which appears as a disassembled expanse of Vallée de Joux’s Combe Noire quarries, and displays five intrinsic components of Audemars Piguet’s latest watch collection: gold, brass, aventurine, sapphire glass and iron. It is evocative of the watch manufacturer’s rooted history in the region, and the intricate process of Haute Horlogerie itself, as well as how creativity and innovation encapsulates that course.
The artist’s exploration of Vallée de Joux’s geological formation continues with a chandelier of crushed glass, which is referring to the limestone stalactites in the Swiss Vallorbe Caves, inviting onlookers to discover Audemars Piguet’s savoir-faire that’s so poignantly mirrored by Mastrangelo’s craftsmanship and design.
Mastrangelo’s design will be unveiled in Art Basel Hong Kong, before it travels to Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach throughout 2019, and set to continue its evolution in 2020.