For three months, the Munich-based jewelry artist worked in the Artists’ Workshops in the northern part of Erfurt. “It was not a quiet retreat to the workbench, but an intense period, during which she got to know the city and its people, as well as all the beauty, peculiarities and idiosyncrasies, sought to engage in dialog with people, and experienced the city with open-minded curiosity,” is how Susanne Knorr, chairwoman of the Erfurt Art Association, sums up the 2020 goldsmith-in-residence’s stint.
Since she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in 1990, Alexandra Bahlmann’s major focus has been on necklaces. Creating colorful, elegantly filigreed and eminently wearable necklaces based on sophisticated structural concepts, she has enriched the vast tradition of this jewelry type in multifaceted ways. “The principle of repeating the same or at least something similar, using identical or comparable elements, has become her artistic practice that enables her to create a huge (seemingly unlimited) diversity by means of (minimal) variation,” Susanne Knorr aptly comments. Pursuing this approach, Alexandra Bahlmann has successfully wedded the principle of seriality to the individual quality craftsmanship and imaginativeness involved in creating auteur jewelry.
During her stint as goldsmith-in-residence in Erfurt, Alexandra Bahlmann created earrings using prefabricated model parts as a basis that she combined with cage-like elements. The fine metal bars are enhanced with colored gemstone beads threaded on them. Like many other jewelry artists before – e.g. participants in the Erfurt Jewelry Symposiums – the goldsmith-in-residence discovered the industrial enamel kiln in the Artists’ Workshops and used it for her work. With her extraordinary sensibility for harmonizing colors and shapes, she combined oval and angular enameled elements with her gemstone-enhanced “earring cages”. The results are now on display in the exhibition at the Anger Museum.
- Kunstmuseen Erfurt