Brilliance: Thomas Gentille

Brilliance: Thomas Gentille

Thomas Gentille, Pin

Thomas Gentille, Pin, eggshell inlay, 3.5 x 3 x .5 in. Photo: Steven Brian Samuels

Known for a minimalist approach and unusual materials, Thomas Gentille is an elder statesman of American art jewelry. “Over five decades of work, Thomas Gentille has demonstrated an enduring fidelity to his aesthetic credo that combines immaculate workmanship and the avoidance of superfluous ornament with a masterful ability to reveal the essence and beauty of his nonprecious materials,” says Ursula Ilse-Neuman. “Gentille’s self-contained, geometric brooches are superb examples of his artistic vision, which combines an architect’s sense for structure and proportion with a painter’s eye for color and texture, all concentrated within the intimate form of jewelry.”

When he started making jewelry: “1958.”

How he describes his work: “Nonobjective.”

His training: “Cleveland Institute of Art.”

What he finds most challenging: “Everything about jewelry is challenging, especially concept, craftsmanship, and construction.”

What he is working on now: “Digital transfer and restoration of a video I made in 1997 of an exhibition at the Gansevoort Gallery in New York titled ‘Intimate Sculpture, Art Smith and His Contemporaries, Modernist Jewelry 1940 – 1965.’ ”

Read the rest of the profiles of jewelry artists in this issue.