For the first time a »jewellery exhibition« is devoted to drawing, focussing attention on a complex, hitherto underappreciated subject. Thirty-six contemporary jewellery artists from around the world present a selection of drawings accompanying the work on objects. The spectrum ranges from sketches geared to the actual execution of the piece of jewellery to drawings as autonomous artistic manifestations. The panorama of exhibited works extends from minimalist, radically reduced gestures to written confessions to baroque-like narrative opulence and the conflation with decorative sculpture.
In addition to some 400 drawings, selected jewellery as well as installations and sketchbooks are on view. The exhibition opens a new chapter for the reception and consideration of contemporary auteur jewellery which has taken on singular prominence especially in Munich, drawing thousands of visitors to the capital of Bavaria each year.
The drawings of jewellery artists have all characteristic traits of creative production. Indeed, it is the intimate dialogue with the creative impulse, one that tends to remain inaccessible to the public, which manifests itself in them. The drawing reveals the artist’s distinctive, signature style, before it is changed and disciplined by material and design. At the same time every graphic expression demands to be recognised as autonomously valid, as an artistic contribution to the process — as design, but above all as conceptual extension and aesthetic note and oftentimes, indeed, as an independent work which exists alongside the jewellery. The artistic process seeks its paths and finds expression as much in the spontaneous gesture or the jotting down of the prima idea as in the final form.
These are the traces the exhibition and publication follow — hence the title »Private Confessions«. The international jewellery artists, among them renowned »celebrities« of the trade, let us partake in their spontaneous inspiration, the various stages of their work as well as the conflict and passion in handling the material. Numerous protagonists are active in a variety of fields, often as painters or draughtsmen.
As presented for the first time in this exhibition, the drawings bear witness to processes and developments concerning art forms and, indeed, artistic identity. They can be interpreted as symptoms of an opening-up of perspective and they not only accompany the jewellery discourse, but, moreover, prove to be a counterforce and counterweight to all functional constraints and obligations of the discipline.
With their works, the artists selected by Dr. Ellen Maurer Zilioli, the exhibition curator and a recognised expert in the field, offer a varied look at the potential of drawing as an artistic medium — especially in the field of jewellery art. Renowned protagonists such as Hermann Jünger (1928–2005) are shown side by side with international practitioners such as the Czech artist Eva Eisler (b. 1946). The exhibition presents younger artists such as Pedro Sequeira (b. 1976) and Despo Sophocleous (b. 1977 ) as well as established ones, such as Claus Bury (b. 1946) and Thomas Gentille (b. 1936). Delicate pencil drawings contrast with gestural watercolours. Quick, small sketches and elaborate collages document the exploration of the medium as well as the author’s distinct style. A vivid dialogue presents itself especially in the overview — a dialogue not just between drawing and object, but also between the various artistic approaches shown, which is underscored by the especially designed exhibition architecture.
The exhibition builds on previous jewellery presentations at the Museum Villa Stuck, including GlAmour. Liebe zum Schmuck – Ein Statement von 10 internationalen Künstlern (2015) and AFTERMATH of art jewellery. Schmuck aus Oslo und München (2013).
About the Curator
Dr. Ellen Mauer Zilioli: 1996–1998 Research Assistant at the Bavarian State Painting Collections,
Munich. 1996–1998 Research Associate at the Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum Munich.
1998–2005 Curator at the Neue Sammlung. Monographic exhibitions on Bruno Martinazzi
(2009/2011), Norman Weber (2010/11), Annette Lucks (2015), and others. 2016 curator of the
exhibition Open Space – Mind Maps, National Museum Stockholm. Since 2014 gallery and office in
Munich. Publications on twentieth century art: Modernist painting sculpture, photography, design and
Giampaolo Babetto, b. 1947, Padua, Italy
Jamie Bennett, b. 1948, Philadelphia, USA
Franz Joseph Bette, b. 1941, Bottrop
Doris Betz, b. 1960, Munich
Manfred Bischoff, b. 1947, Schömberg/Calw, d. 2015, Casciano dei Bagni, Italy
Helen Britton, b. 1966, Lithgow/New South Wales, Australia
Claus Bury, b. 1946, Meerholz/Gelnhausen
Anton Cepka, b. 1936, Šulekovo/Trnava, Slovakia
Peter Chang, b. 1944, London, Great Britain
Eva Eisler, b. 1952, Prague, Czech Republic
Ulo Florack, b. 1958, Augsburg
Thomas Gentille, b. 1936, Mansfield/OH, USA
Mielle Harvey, b. 1971, New York, USA
Kirsten Haydon, b. 1973, Auckland, New Zealand
Margit Jäschke, b. 1962, Halle/Saale
Hermann Jünger, b. 1928, Hanau, d. 2005, Pöring
Winfried Krüger, b. 1944, Bauschlott
Daniel Kruger, b. 1951, Cape Town, South Africa
Otto Künzli, b. 1948, Zürich, Switzerland
Alba Polenghi Lisca, b. 1935, Milan, Italy
Fritz Maierhofer, b. 1941, Vienna, Austria
Bruno Martinazzi, b. 1923, Turin, Italia
Manfred Nisslmüller, b. 1940, Vienna, Austria
Ruudt Peters, b. 1950, Naaldwijk, Netherlands
Karen Pontoppidan, b. 1968, Kerteminde, Denmark
Wolfgang Rahs, b. 1952, Vorau/Steiermark, Austria
Jacqueline Ryan, b. 1966, Finchley/London, Great Britain
Bernhard Schobinger, b. 1946, Zürich, Switzerland
Henriette Schuster, b. 1962, Munich
Pedro Sequeira, b. 1976, Cinfăes, Portugal
Hubertus von Skal, b. 1942, Jungferndorf/Kobylá nad Vidnavkou, Czech Republic
Robert Smit, b. 1941, Delft, Netherlands
Despo Sophocleous, b. 1977, Nova Scotia, Canada
Graziano Visintin, b. 1954, Pernumia/Padua, Italy
Norman Weber, b. 1964, Schwäbisch Gmünd
Annamaria Zanella, b. 1966, Padua, Italy