Of abstract design, composed of steel and gold, 5 7⁄8 x 11⁄4 x 1⁄8 ins., 1992, maker's mark for Daniel Brush. Weight: 144 grams
Note: To the initiated, the work of New York-based artist Daniel Brush is instantly recognisable. And it is right to talk about "the initiated" as, whilst his works can be found in the most notable museums (The MET Museum in New York, The V&A in London...) and private collections across the world, Daniel Brush has worked hidden away in almost monastic dedication to his art for much of his forty year career. This inherent discretion, the support of his wife Olivia, and a handful of loyal patrons, has shielded an erudite and meditative talent from the sometimes distractingly-commercial concerns of The Art World. The treasures that have ensued have a breathtaking purity about them.
This seclusion nurtured not only the artist but the scholar, and to engage Daniel Brush on any subject or period of history within a truly eclectic spectrum is to glimpse this. So much of his work feels like a masterful distillation of histories, which we devour with instinctive reverence. Daniel Brush has meticulously reincarnated ancient goldwork techniques such as the largely lost art of granulation, experimented with and pushed the boundaries of the alchemy of metals and mastered the manipulations of steel, all with the sensitivities and discipline more commonly associated with traditional Japanese art. It is in this virtuosity of execution and profundity of Brush's contextual knowledge that his work finds a timeless wonder.
The access to this wonder remains limited but the appearance of a few important collections on the second hand market, a retrospective at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2012, and recent exhibitions facilitated by L'Ecole de Van Cleef & Arpels have helped shed a much-deserved spotlight on this contemporary genius.