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fairs

A report by Lilian Mattuschka

With photos by Piero Arico

SCHMUCK-17-2

Otto Kunzli, Quidam, from 7.03 to 14.03 2017 at Galerie Wittembrik

As every year during the jewellery week, Munich is invaded by strange characters, recognizable thanks to their unique tendency to wear ornament and decoration.

During these intense days, you will see colourful broaches, big necklaces and eye-catching rings all around the city, and if these signs are not evident enough you can identify them because of the one common object everyone holds tight in their hands: the Current Obsession map/book.

Makers, collectors, gallerists, students and just curious people (way less than the others, indeed) from different cultural backgrounds come together with a common goal: contemporary jewellery.

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Pearl Necklace, 2016, Carved freshwater pearls

As a professional myself, I want to share my favourites of this Munich jewellery week 2017:

BEATRICE BROVIA AND NICOLAS CHENG, “GOLD RUSH”

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Gold Rush, 2017, Exhibition view, Beatrice Brovia and Nicolas Cheng

One of the most interesting and complete exhibitions in this year´s schmuck thanks to a perfectly working dialog between the display and the pieces.

Visitors were encouraged to look beyond the regular ways in which highly precious materials are used in the jewellery field, and to reflect on their controversial nature.

With a series of very clean and aesthetically pleasing pieces made out of e-waste Brovia and Cheng where putting their focus on the normally invisible uses of gold.

AKIKO KURIHARA “THE CAT DID IT”

Smart and funny as every year. Always a pleasure to visit and see what new game is on the table of Akiko Kurihara.

JORGE MANILLA “ABRUPTIONS”

A mysterious and dark experience in strong contrast with the enthusiastic crowd of visitors that were literally fighting to touch the enchanting skin of these guts-like pieces.

COCO SUNG “KARMA”

Freedom was the first thing that came to my mind when I entered in CoCo Sung’s show. Refreshing and inspiring, a beautiful combination between painting and jewellery.

Sung opened up to visitors her imaginary world with courage and great ability in combining colour, shapes and material.

To know more about Alchimia jewellery school in Florence check our main website.

We are glad to say that Patrick Davison has won the Goldsmiths’ Fair 2016 Best New Design Award (Week Two) for Box: a container, an object and a sculpture, only 50mm tall and with a fascinating and intricate surface’s pattern made of silver, brass, copper, bronze, and nickel silver (alpaca).

Patrick Davison Goldsmith Fair Box

Box, fine silver,sterling silver, copper, bronze, nickle silver, brass,  2015

 

Patrick Davison Goldsmith Fair Box

Who is Patrick Davison

A student of Alchimia in the past, and a contributing faculty today, Patrick is a jewellery designer whose practice is defined by a process-led work which incorporates silver and mixed metals.

He studied at the Glasgow School of Art and at Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence with Ruudt Peters. After graduation he returned to Kent in England and set up his workshop where he continues to work. He began to develop his own work exploring a variety of gold and silversmithing techniques and complementing this personal practice with work in jewellery workshops.

 

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Necklace, silver, shibuichi, 2015

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Porphyry, box, silver, shibuichi, bronze, brass copper, 2014

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Box (oval), silver, nickel silver, 2014

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walls of the church/of the temple, vessel, silver, nickel silver, bronze, brass, copper, 2014

brooches

Brooches, all from 2016

Patrick Davison - Glosmiths' Fair

Box, silver, Fine silver, Bronze, Brass, Copper, 2016

Goldsmiths’ Fair

Goldsmiths’ Fair is one of the most important events for contemporary jewellery of the UK, organized every year by the Goldsmith Company.

For over two weeks 150 independent makers, from young talents to more established professionals, from all over Britain are selected by a panel of experts to present their work in this context.

For more information please visit: https://www.goldsmithsfair.co.uk

Alchimia’s second year MFA team of students visited Schmuck 2016 with its curatorial studies tutor Antonia Alampi. They spent their time analyzing and closely discussing a select number of exhibitions among the more than 70 organized for this year’s event.

Our team of experts has been asked to act as critics: by reviewing an exhibition from the perspective of its infrastructure, by tracing and discussing parallels between exhibitions, or by discussing this year’s jewelry week in relation to previous ones.

With the participation of Lillian Mattuschka, Marissa Racht Ryan and Francesco Coda.

What you are reading is Part II of the study. To read Part I, please click here.

 Marissa Ryan Racht

There were a few trends that I noticed this year as apposed to last. I should note that last year was my first one visiting Schmuck, so everything was new and impressive to my virgin “Schmuck eyes”. This year I noticed that in several exhibitions there were many of the same exact works as last year. Some of those who offered the same pieces, also put less effort and care into their actual display, hence they were doubly disappointing. I can’t imagine that this is a great career move for the artists. It almost seems a better policy to not show at all rather than reshow the same pieces for several years consecutively.

Thematically, something that really stood out for me at the 2016 Schmuck Fair was the presence of the smart phone. It seemed like something emerging from an anthropological study. Not only was every person you encountered taking photos, using apps, navigating with their smart phones, but the concepts behind several of the works were based on the use of them in contemporary society.

A prime example of this trend was one of the three winners of Schmuck at the fair. It is by a woman artist from New Zealand, Moniek Schrijer. What I gathered from the information provided at the awards ceremony is that this piece references the Rosetta Stone. With it, she is imagining a future far from now, where our smart phones have long since ceased functioning, and when we happen to question their meaning and past function as we encounter them as an archaeological discovery.

Schmuck iPhone necklace

“Tablet Of”, Neckpiece, 2015, Porcelain slate, gold, black Nephrite beads, steel wire 8.5 x 13.08 cm

The piece “This is the approximate size of an iPhone screen” by artist Emil Gustafsson, also in the main exhibition of Schmuck in the fair, is another example of this trend. Predictably enough, when doing a little research to find out a bit more information on this work’s concept, I gleamed that one of the artist’s main inspirations are the studies by anthropologist Edward T. Hall titled “The Hidden Dimension” (1966), “a study of the physical distance people maintain between each other in different contexts and cultures”. [To read more about it click here]. What this piece seems to be talking about is the fact that our focus on digital communication is robbing us of the natural, physical and visual cues that helped us develop as a species.

Schmuck iphone brooch

 

“This is the approximate size of an iPhone screen”, brooch, 2015, acrylic, steel, silver, rubber, aluminum, 5 x 8.9 x 1.6 cm

There were a few other works referencing the smart phone topic, but I also want to mention a glaring, even if probably not intentional, parallel. At the end of a grueling day, having visited what seemed like hundreds of exhibitions, we made a brief stop at Gallerie Thomas Modern. This exhibition featured the works of two prominent 20th century artists. It honored the 30th anniversary of the death of Joseph Beuys and the 10th anniversary of the death of Nam June Paik. Both artists’ practice heavily focuses on the technological advances of their generations and their psychic effects on us as people.

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JOSEPH BEUYS Erdtelephon (Earth Telephone) 1968 Telephone, cords, clump of earth with grass on wooden board. Signed and dated in pencil on wooden board, verso: “Joseph Beuys 68” (photo courtesy of: http://www.zwirnerandwirth.com)

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Nam June Paik: Lächelnder Buddha (Buddha Looking at Old Candle TV), 1992. Metallmonitor, Bronze, Kerze © Nam June Paik Estate

As two key contributors of Fluxus (an artistic movement that started in the 50s whose political aim was to have an agency over society through their art): “They focus on the events of everyday life and reject the concept of “high art” for new, more accessible forms that can be interactive and even playful in their irony [Fluxus, Joan Rothfess, 2005].” As jewelry artists we are constantly trying to consider our works’ physical interaction with the wearer and viewers. Now, I’m not sure if the pieces I mentioned are trying to change the world, but they certainly seem to be addressing our cultural dependences and the proliferation of this particular technology. Maybe they are “poking” us à la Facebook in an attempt to look up from our digital/screen worlds and take notice of the material world in front of our eyes – or maybe I’m just reading into things like an old lady talking to the kids about how things were back in my day…

Lillian Mattuschka

 After two weeks of dwelling I finally came up with a personal view, the prism of a student that, for the fourth year, flies to Munich to see what is new in the jewellery world and ends up wondering where this field or little community wants to go, and even asking what this field has to say anyway.

I’ll walk you through an example, the exhibition “Everyday Epics”, taking place at the Kunstpavillion. The artists were Alexander Blank, Kiko Gianocca, Jing He, Sophie Hanagrath, Jiro Kamata and Florian Weichsberger. We arrived at the exhibition on Friday after lunch, with a beautiful weather, the sun was shining over the squared pavilion and we were lucky because we were almost the only ones visiting at that time. We were immediately overwhelmed by the natural light shining trough the glass ceiling. The room was filled with wooden tables, used to show the work of Munich Academy’s top former students. The only things not on a table were a more conceptual work and a video both realized by Jing He and presented and screened on a wall.

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“everyday epics”, exhibition view, photo from jirokamata.com

 

Flashback to last year: same place, same people, same pieces?! The only difference was the display (shiny tables instead). In 2015 this exhibition was the favourite of almost every Alchimia student. Clearly last year’s setting table captured attention, so my question at this point is: was the table stronger than the pieces? This year’s setting was indeed less glamorous than the previous one – maybe the artists wanted to give more attention to their pieces?

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“Lux is the Dealer”, exhibition view, photo from photo from http://www.jirokamata.com

Just as in 2015, all you had as exhibition hand-out was an A4 paper with titles, dates and opening hours, numbers related to the works with very synthetic information and especially with no artist statement, nor any kind of introduction to the show more generally. My obvious questions relate to why these artists, why together, why this title, and if (or not) there was anything they had in common except for having shared the same professor during their studies. Think with me. Last year’s show in this space featured the same artists, almost the same pieces, but with the title “Lux is the Dealer”. So what becomes clear is only that (YES!) it is the table (and the lights) that making the difference.

A show is made up by different elements that should work together in order to enhance the works, to tell a story or transmit a statement. In this show I had a hard time understanding what the artists wanted to say. I am a jewelry student, so who if not someone like me should be able to understand this language? In essence I think that the artists should be more generous with information, and in exhibition making, helping generic visitors, peer artists, collectors, readers, etc…making the substance of their work more legible, and not change direction in random order, depending on the moods (and colors) of the weather (or the tables).

Francesco Coda

I will focus on the exhibitions “everyday epics” and “Lux is the Dealer”, realized in 2016 and 2015 respectively, both taking place at the Kunstpavillon in Munich, and both featuring works by former students of Otto Künzli.

“Lux is the Dealer” had been set up on one single very long table in black plexiglass, crossing diagonally the entire room. Light was generated by several light bulbs on the table that reflected light in reverse – a perfect method for pieces such as those by Jiro Kamata, mirror necklaces whose colors became even brighter and more fluorescent during the evening. The exhibition’s title was hang on the wall in a blue neon, adding to the suggestive environment, bearing a quite strong visual impact.

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All photos: “Lux is the Dealer”, exhibition view, photo from photo from http://www.jirokamata.com

Based on last year’s experience, my expectations towards the 2016 edition of the show were very high, given it was featuring basically the same artists. Surprisingly, many pieces were just the same as the previous year’s, the exhibition was very sober, all was arranged on several plywood tables, accompanied by a leaflet with only very basic information. Fortunately many artists were present and generous when talking about their work. In the evening the space was re-organized to host a party, and it was quite amazing how much more interesting the space looked in this different configuration.

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All photos: “everyday epics”, exhibition view, photo from jirokamata.com

All in all I think that too often in jewelry exhibitions we find tables or plinths as a main solution for the display of our pieces, while I really hope we will put a little more effort in finding new creative ways of presenting our work.

 

What can we say, words are not exhaustive to describe how incredibly excited we are to share with you the pride about “Unbearable Lightness”, a solo-show of our recent MFA graduate Federica Sala in Munich, featuring her MFA collection. The exhibition was mentioned in the prestigious Art Jewellery Forum as one of the ten best presentations in the Munich Jewellery Week this year, and one of her pieces as one of the ten artworks that make the heart of experts skip beat.

In the Jury’s words:

“Fragility and strength are the main concepts of Federica Sala’s Unbearable Lightness collection. She creates necklaces that are extremely fragile, but at the same time pushes the limits of the material, as the combination of glass penetrated by stones gives us a poetic vision of the boundaries of jewelry. There are a very few pieces that blow your mind, that make your eyes sparkle, or give you so many different feelings and emotions that you can’t explain with words, because they are transcending our self-awareness: This is what I felt when I saw Federica’s necklace.”

Paulo Ribeiro, director and founder of Joya Barcelona Jewellery Fair.

“The Kunstgiesserei [art foundry] is one of my favorite venues in Munich and I have seen a couple of fantastic shows in this rough and powerful environment. Seeing Federica Sala’s show there makes one almost feel that she has been making pieces for this room—or like the room was built for her work. The necklaces and rings are made of glass and the light bubbles seem to be floating in the room. The contrast between the fragile glass and the stones set into the pieces is emphasized by the space, a contrast further hinted at by the exhibition title: Unbearable Lightness.”

Karin Roy Andersson, jewelry artist, manager of Four, and part of team Diagonal in Sweden.

Enjoy the visual ride.

x

Alchimia

 

 

A year has passed, the contemporary jewellery community realises it when the ‘Schmuck in München’ program is out. All kinds of invitations arrive and tell about almost uncountable events. Impossible to see them all during these 3/4 hectic days.

Question is, how to select?
There are various possibilities: 1. Just try to go to the openings  (area selection, what is possible because near to each other) so you can meet friends and eat and drink for free (won’t see much of the jewellery, but events like this are also important for personal PR work)
2. select the exhibitions of the artists you know personally to see what they are up to
3. listen to advices from friends or professors
4. just go to the big things with big names
5. random selection with closed eyes

Well after this introduction there you go with the Alchimia selection, and of course we choose only Alchimia students, teachers and alumni. (there needs to be some kind of ‘patriotism’)

 

First and most important, the strangest (I am pretty sure about this) exhibition of and about jewellery you might have ever seen.

So don’t miss it!!!!

EnricaPrazzoliOCFMMWL2

Aperitivo

17.00  Friday 13 March 2015

Opening times

Thursday 12/3 to Sunday 15/3/2015, 12.00 to 20.00
Address

LOT62 with 84GHz

Schleißheimerstraße 62, 80333 München

Web

schmuck.84GHz.de, www.enricaprazzoli.com

EPOCFMMWLinvite

Title

Objects, Continued-  From My Microwave With Love.

Participants 

Enrica Prazzoli

Statement

Strange machines travelling through time; made a long time ago but only a few weeks old.

Just because we can see their inner mechanism it doesn’t mean we understand what they are supposed to do, any more than we understand what’s going on inside a computer chip. Someone made them, someone has to use them. By themselves they don’t move; they do not solve problems, nor create them.

Why are these objects here, now? They started appearing in my microwave, in September 2013.

I started collecting the things and trying to find a sense to this all. Some pieces worked by themselves, some others were components of a bigger whole; some parts are apparently missing.

I get a glimpse of the person that is doing this, but I cannot communicate with her (travelling forward in time is easy, we all do that, one minute every sixty seconds; but travelling backwards is not).

By trying to make sense of a past that could have been, I think about how different the things we interact with everyday would be; and how similar the reactions.

There’s a fine line between brilliant and lunatic; determined and deluded.

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Just a sneak peak of what you might find there!!!!

device3 scatola copy (721x800)

Device4

To be continued with further advice…………

 

See you in Munich!!!!!

 

MAD

 

LOOT 2014. MAD Museum – New York 

Opening night

 

October 4, 2014, New York.
My first time in the big apple and I really can’t see anything except the Museum of Arts & Design. I’m terribly excited and frightened at the same time: I have to show my work inside that amazing building at Loot!Mad about jewellery, the annual selling exhibition curated by Bryna Pomp and Michelle Cohen.

Everything has been planned perfectly: day of sending pieces, day of arrival of the designers at the museum, day of the party, day of the setting, day of the press preview and day of the opening. I just have to follow that schedule and everything will go as it should.

I cannot keep the worries out of my mind: I will be there, with my work, looking at people that will watch my pieces. Some will stop, someone will pass through; someone will like it and someone not. It’s stressing! But the surrounding is amazing: in such a small space there are 50 different artists from 25 different countries and It’s fun to meet them, to know them and their work and exchange experiences and opinions. We give suggestions each other, It’s a kind of group critique. And the curators are supervising our work, trying our pieces to choose what to wear in order to show our work around New York for a week.

The opening was just unbelievable: so many people…I did not manage to stop speaking, explaining my work. And it’s such a satisfaction to see this big interest! I did not realize time was flying and I found myself at 10 pm, totally exhausted, but incredible happy for having experienced this.
The exhibition lasted a week during which I spent every day at the museum, ready to explain my work to whoever was going to ask me about it.

It’s incredible how many people you have the opportunity to meet in just few days.
And It’s incredible how many working opportunities this creates.

I have been interviewed by gallerists and journalists and I think this was just great!

On the last day we all were tired and sad about leaving the Museum and New York, and it felt that all the efforts had been worth while.
Each one of us had brought at least 50 pieces.
Each one of us came and lived in NY for ten days.

Each one of us, I’m sure, left with the wish of coming back again next year.

Working

 

Federica Sala is a Milan based Alchimia Master student.
Her collection of glass and silver jewellery has been highly appreciated at the New York event.

 

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Federica_Sala143

 

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JOYA_Barcelona_2014

The aim of Alchimia Gallery is to promote the  work  of Alchimia alumni by presenting, organizing and supporting events and exhibitions in Florence as well as abroad.
Through the gallery we give our students the opportunity to show their work in important international events, a precious occasion for them to understand professional working methods.

JOYA Barcelona is the main international event in Spain presenting art jewellery from around the world. The new location, the Arts Santa Monica, is this year’s frame for a unique encounter with contemporary jewellery.

A selection of student’s work from all classes is shown in our stand and it is a fantastic chance for them to experience and measure the reactions of the visitors.

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but not only Alchimia gallery is present. There is also AAC the Alchimia Alumni Collective, represented by Andrea Coderch and Catalina Gibert.

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There is also our teacher Daniela Boieri who won last year’s Joya award.

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and of course Lucia Massei, the director of Alchimia who will grant the Alchimia Award 2014.

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Alchimia School of Contemporary Jewellery celebrates in JOYA 2014 the fourth edition of the “Alchimia Award”, a tribute to the new faces in the world contemporary jewellery. This award, consisting of a two-week intensive course at Alchimia School in Florence, will be given to one of the promising young students from the Selected Schools that participate in this year’s edition of JOYA.

And now some pictures of the beautiful pieces shown in our stand.

Federica Sala, brooch

Federica Sala, brooch

Asuka Tagami, necklace

Asuka Tagami, necklace

Carla Movia, necklace

Carla Movia, necklace

 

Diana Pantea, ring

Diana Pantea, ring

Shenaz Erdal, brooch

Shenaz Erdal, brooch

Francesco Coda, brooch

Francesco Coda, brooch

 

Maria Ignacia Walker, necklace

Maria Ignacia Walker, necklace

 

Elena Gil, necklace

Elena Gil, necklace

 

We wish all artists good luck and success for the coming days !!!!!