It is hard to imagine that a year has passed since my first trip to Schmuck last March. For me it was such an amazing experience that unlocked a new world filled with gifted artists and a community who works damn hard to promote them.
Just a recap for those who are not familiar with the Schmuck fair. Schmuck is an annual exhibition of contemporary art jewelry that takes place in conjunction with the Handwerk + Design Trade Fair at the Messe Munchen, a large convention center about 20 minutes outside of city center.This year’s show will be held March 6-12, 2013.
Each year a new curator is chosen by a committee who carefully selects from over 600 applicants, this year 58 both emerging and established artists were asked to participate in the show. This year Bernhard Schobinger, considered to be one of today´s leading jewellery designers had the honor of taking the reins. Just going through the list the following names popped out at me: Robert Baines (Australia), David Bielander (Switzerland), Sungho Cho (Korea), Sam Tho Duong (Vietnam), Kimiaki Kageyama and Ryuichiro Nakamura (Japan), Bruce Metcalf (USA), Alexander Blank (Germany). At the end of the show, three jewelers are selected from the group and awarded the Herbert Hoffmann Prize, a very prestigious award. Last year’s recipients were Alexander Blank, Despo Sophocleous, and Tore Svensson.
It is hard to imagine that there are more than 80 exhibitions/ events planned to coincide with the main show this year. Below are the ones that I am most disappointed about missing.
The Lunatic Swing
– Special Opening on 7th March at 5pm (during Schmuck)
Looking past the confines of a given space these six emerging contemporary jewelers will exhibit their work on a transformed landscape. Stretching fabric tight over these traditional forms the play of light swings a delirious dance. The artists involved are all alumni of Munich’s Academy of Fine Art having studied under Prof. Otto Künzli. Participants: Attai Chen (Israel), Songho Cho (South Korea), Laura Deakin (Australia), Emma Price (Australia), Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary (Germany), , Melanie Isverding (Germany).
Bucks ‘N Barter
Opening: March 7, 5:30pm www.bucksnbarter.com
The exhibition features works from 9 international artists active in the fields of
jewelry, art, craft, product and experience design, with site specific installations,
newly commissioned works and a selection of thought-provoking pieces,
all together investigating a complex and multifaceted topic, that of the human
tendency to trade and exchange and how this has shaped not only the society we
live in but also the way we perceive and relate to things and materials.
Key themes touched upon are value and currency, material culture, barter and
exchange in terms of economics, symbols, knowledge and cultures; the relationship
between the market and the applied arts, between physical and virtual.
Although the Pinakothek der Modern, the home of the Die Neue Sammlung, is undergoing a renovation, the show must go on! The Schaustelle of Pinakothek der Moderne will serve as the location of an exhibition of the work of Otto Kunzli. The artist has been called “one of the most provocative and influential jewelers of the post-War era”. A student of the renowned German jeweler Hermann Jünger, Künzli succeeded Jünger as director of the jewelry department at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, where he has taught since 1991. The show, a celebration of Kunzli’s career will feature about 200 objects. If it’s open, be sure to visit the Danner Rotunda, although reading my article on the Art Jewelry Forum’s website on this world-renowned jewelry collection comes in second best.
Additionally, the Die Neue Sammlung has a tradition of selecting a school to exhibit their work in one of the gallery’s during Schmuck. Last year, the gallery walls were adorned with jewelry made by students of the Konstfack (an article about this show will be posted on the Art Jewelry Forum’s website in the near future) but this year, in honor of Kunzli, the Royal College of Art has been chosen to showcase their graduate work. Titled “Saplings. 360″ Vision” the “concept of this installation is to make the trees in the park surrounding the Die Neue Sammlung the site of the exhibition. Each tree trunk presents one person’s work and all the trees together form a great chain like a necklace surrounding the ‘body’ of museum buildings. Fixed to the tree trunks are a 360 ° array of images and texts that tell the story of the pieces from the Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery programme. Each collection item is photographed from a number of angles, it is as though we are looking at the real pieces, exploring them from every angle.” Kunzli was the visiting professor at the GSM&J program from 2009 to 2012.
On Sunday, New Zealand artist Warwick Freeman will speak at the museum. Freeman has been selected as the Classic of the Modern) of the SCHMUCK exhibition. And if that’s not enough, the Die Neue Sammlung’s Nürnberg location will show the work of Helen Britton, a Munich- based, Australian artist. Britton “combines semi-finished products from the fashion jewelry industry, found objects from flea markets or strolls along the beach back home in Australia with components and structures she makes herself from metal, with gems, glass elements from Lauscha, with lacquer and plastic. And the result is something completely new, influenced not least by its industrial processing and origins.”
Lastly, if like me, you are unable to fly to Munich, you can catch an online exhibition curated by the Made to Make Collective called ‘Matching Items Available’ that went live on March 6th. Billed as “One piece of jewellery…ten makers. ‘Matching Items Available’ sees ten art jewellers transform a mass-produced, fast-fashion necklace into something wholly different. Featuring the work of Farrah Al-Dujaili (the 2012 Winner of the AJF’s Emerging Artist Award), Stephanie Arm, Emily Bullock, Sally Collins, Hannah Fewtrell-Bolton, Jo Pond, Fliss Quick, Katherine Richmond, Natalie Smith, Li-Chu Wu. To view the show visit their site: http://madetomakecollective.
For a rundown of last year’s show, peruse my archived articles here.