Draft sketches or drawings capture spontaneous intuitions and fleeting impressions. They serve to generate ideas while documenting the design process of artists as well as designers. Sometimes they even turn out to be artworks in their own right, revealing, mostly with the benefit of hindsight, the spirit and soul not just of the author but also of an era or an age of style or design. The exhibition Private Confessions unfurls the extraordinary talents in drawing and painting of the distinguished jewelry artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present. The selection of 36 stars of that scene comprises around 400 drawings, sketchbooks, installations and pieces of jewelry. Among them are minimalist sketches and objects, calligraphic statements as well as narrative watercolors and even opulent paintings.
The curator Ellen Maurer-Zilioli has chosen such pioneers of contemporary jewelry art since 1945 as Hermann Jünger, Anton Cepka, Manfred Nisslmüller, Bernhard Schobinger or Giampaolo Babetto as well as renowned representatives of the middle and younger generations. Finally, the show includes works by artists, such as Bruno Martinazzi and Claus Bury, who have also gained fame as sculptors. The organizers write that their show is not just accompanying the discourse on jewelry but, moreover, proves to be a counterforce and counterweight to all the functional limitations and obligations of the discipline. The show makes no claim to completeness, “but opens a completely new chapter on the reception and reflection of the field of artistic activity that is contemporary auteur jewelry.” On this we may agree. Private Confessions is an accomplished contribution to rendering visible the artistic quality and complexity of the genre in contemporary culture. A catalogue (Arnoldsche Art Publisher, 220 pp., 180 figs.) edited by Michael Buhrs of Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, and the curator and gallerist Ellen Maurer-Zilioli accompanies the show.
Text Reinhold Ludwig
Photos Coda Museum
7311 CL Apeldoorn