Art & Design Magazine

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

By Objectsnotpaintings

Friday, March 16, 2012
Pinakothek de Moderne

My AJF ladies and I started our day with a visit to the Pinakothek de Moderne. We spent the entire morning here as both the permanent jewelry collection and a temporary exhibition was worthy of our time.   The group was greeted by Dr. Florian Hufnagl, director of the museum, Dr. Petra Holscher, senior curator, and Karl Fritsch, the jewelry artist who curated the current installation in the Danner Rotunda part of the Die Neue Sammlung (The International Design Museum).  Dr. Hufnagel told us that when he joined the museum 22 years ago he wondered why it did not have a jewelry collection alongside all of the other decorative arts and so he made it his mission to establish one.  He traveled around the world to meet all of the most important artists working in the medium and was thrilled when the Danner Foundation provided the funds for the installation.  In 2004 Herman Jünger and Otto Künzli (both men are considered pioneers in the field; Jünger was professor of the jewelry course at the Munich Art Academy from 1972-1990, a post that was taken over by Künzli in 1991) were responsible for the installation of the collection but in 2010 Karl Fritsch was invited to look at it with fresh eyes and curate both the Foundation’s and the museum’s jewelry holdings. In total Fritsch had approximately 1,000 pieces to work with, not including the pieces that he recommended that the museum acquire. The Danner Rotunda was certainly a highlight for me. The collection features the work of the most important jewelry artists from around the world. There are contributions from young makers whose work has become incredibly relevant over the course of the last few years (and certainly for me on this trip), like Alexander Blank, Despo Sophocleous, and Laura Deakin, as well as artists that paved the way for them like Jünger, Ruudt Peters, and Tone Vigeland.

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

Danner Rotunda with jewelry cases lining the wall...

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

...and around the circumference of the  gallery.

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

The charismatic Karl Fritsch, curator of the Danner Rotunda, discussing his choices with AJF members.


We also had the pleasure of meeting with Karen Pontoppidan, an artist and professor at the Konstfack in Stockholm whose graduating class has curated  “Ädellab-The State of Things” an exhibition of their graduation work. The idea behind the show is quite simple: 40 students exhibit their graduate work (both Bachelor’s and Master’s) from the last five years. The installation was just as unique as the work presented. A giant knotted ball of red rope, symbolizing the program and its students, with rope coming undone and spreading in all directions represents the students leaving their cocoon and going off in all different directions.  The name “Ädellab”, the invention of Pontoppidan’s predecessor Ruudt Peters, means “precious laboratory”, which is very fitting considering the work that is done there.
Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

The Addelab installation at the Pinakothek


An in-depth article on the Danner Rotunda and Ädellab will be published on the AJFs’s website in the coming months.  More info on Ädellab: http://www.adellab.se/
I was also incredibly impressed with the Die Neue Sammlung’s collection of twentieth-century decorative arts. With 80,000 objects at their disposal, the design galleries are an encyclopedia look at key design movements and its most valuable players.  As Helga van Liepsig, a fellow AJF member, said to me, “this is chair heaven” and she was right! I will leave an in-depth account of the galleries for another blog post.
Studio Visit: David Bielander and Helen Britton

One thing that struck me in Munich is how all of the artists are very supportive of each others work and that there is a real sense of community here. It is also not uncommon for artists to share studio space, so we were fortunate that a visit one studio would allow us to see the work of several artists at once.  Bielander and Britton have both won the Hofmann prize and their work is exhibited internationally.  They shared with us their latest work as they prepare for separate exhibitions in the United States this coming summer (Britton will be showing with Sienna Gallery and Bielander with Ornamentum).  Britton and Bielander could not be more different from each other. Britton works in themes, which she may revisit over time, and each piece is completely unique. Bielander on the other hand develops one idea over several years and may only produce 6-8 unique pieces in a year which are then produced in multiples.
For more information:  Helen Britton: http://www.klimt02.net/jewellers/helen-britton
David Bielander: http://www.galleryso.com/david-bielander.a29 

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

"Inside the studio": David Bielander holding his recent work, The Python. This piece is meant to be worn around the neck akin to a necklace. As one can imagine, the effect is very dramatic. Although it is hard to tell in this photo, the python is a silvery-purple color. Photo courtesy of the AJF.


As a side note, I just read that Caroline Van Hoek of Brussels will be showing Bielander's work (including The Python) in her booth at the Pavilion of Art and Design in Paris, March 28th-April 1st.
Munich Academy of Fine Arts

A crash-course in Munich’s contribution to the jewelry world would not be complete without a visit to the Munich Art Academy which is responsible for producing some super stars. The AJF was taken on a tour of the facilities by Jiro Kamata, an artist and also one of the three instructors in the program which is run by Otto Künzli. The jewelry department at the Academy is world-renowned; it is a six-year program with only 22 students enrolled at once. The education is very liberal, students are encouraged to make their own work and meet once a week with the entire class with Künzli leading the discussion. We were all surprised to learn that tuition at the Academy is very reasonable, especially by US standards. It is 600 Euros a year and the money goes back into the program and is used to purchase materials or anything else that the students may need.

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

The Jewelry Department's studio space at the Munich Art Academy

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

The Wall of Fame outside of the Jewelry Department's classrooms at the Munich Art Academy. Every visitor to the program has left some sort of momento on that wall. 

We also got the opportunity to learn more about Kamata’s work. Since 2008 Kamata has been using camera lenses to make necklaces and brooches. Currently there are over 150 lenses in his possession. Kamata uses the lens in its entirety, never altering it but painting the background various colors to achieve a unique work of art each time. Kamata gave as a tour of the facilities, which unfortunately were practically empty as students were away for spring break or busy showing their work around the city due to Schmuck.

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

Jiro Kamata during his presentation to the AJF

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

A  Kamata "arabesque" made of a camera lens


However we were lucky enough to meet Attai Chen, last year’s recipient of the Hofmann prize working in his studio. Chen showed us his recent work, “Compounding Fractions” a series of brooches made from recycled paper, which will be on view in the US through Gallery Loupe. Chen also demonstrated for us his use of the “mouth-blowing torch” whereby he blows air into the mouth pipe which is connected to gas and produces a flame to solder metals. Chen recently wrote about his favorite tool for the AJF blog. 
For more information:  Attai Chen  http://www.attaichen.com/  
Jiro Kamata  http://www.jirokamata.com/         Munich Art Academy http://www.adbk.de/

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

Attai Chen demonstrating the use of the mouth-blowing torch to solder metal

Schmuck 2012 (Part Two)

Two brooches by Attai Chen from the "Compounding Fractions" series


Prior to heading over to dinner at a party hosted by the AJF at Cohen’s we visited Gallery Spektrum for the opening of Ruudt Peters’ exhibition and the Residenz to see the work of Gerd Rothman, Robert Baines and Karl Fritsch. 
Stay tuned for my last installment on Schmuck on Friday, March 29th. 

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

Magazines