Life is Art

Live “normally” again! That’s what many people want now. Or better to create life as a work of art? More in Art Aurea 2-2021.

You can already guess who called for lives to be lived as works of art. It was Joseph Beuys, whose 100th birthday is being celebrated in numerous exhibitions this year. This once-in-a-century artist was also important for the applied arts – not only because he nearly got a professorship at the Angewandte in Vienna in 1979. For Beuys, every human being was an artist. Beuys thought radically new, wanted to overcome limits. In this way, he was also a role model for goldsmiths and other craftspeople who, since the 1960s, have defined themselves as artists and overcome ossified boundaries.

Art Aurea was born in 1985 out of this spirit of freedom and departure, which is expressed in our editorial philosophy: “As formulated at the beginning of Modernism at the Bauhaus or later by Joseph Beuys, we advocate the idea of art that permeates all areas of life.” Reason enough, then, to focus on Joseph Beuys in his anniversary year of 2021.

Joseph Beuys

Despite the seriousness of his art and theses, Joseph Beuys (1981) liked to laugh often. On view until July 4, 21 in the exhibition A Woodstock of Ideas at the Museum Ulm. © Photo archive Ruhrmuseum Essen, photo Jürgen Leiendecker. VG-Bild-Kunst-Bonn-2020.

Life as a Work of Art

What did Joseph Beuys want to achieve with his statement “Every human being is an artist”? What can we learn from him today, when multiple crises are threatening humankind? Read in Part 1 how the boy from Kleve in the Lower Rhine region became an artist of the century.

Arts Crafts World

The “Arts Crafts World” section is brand new in Art Aurea. Starting now, our previous concept with major portraits, interviews and exhibitions will be complemented by this curated compendium of current works, concepts and short biographies of important artists from all over the world, each presented as a four-page spread. We have started in the summer issue with:

Gijs Assmann, Netherlands (selected by Geer Pouls, Galerie Brutto Gusto, Berlin), John K. Raustein, Norway (selected by Tonje Kjellevold, Project Manager at Norwegian Crafts), Ryuhei Sako, Japan, (selected by Koichi Io, Japanese metal artist), Felieke van der Leest, (selected by Herman Hermsen, Dutch jewelry artist and former professor in Düsseldorf), Anna Mlasowsky, (selected by Sven Hauschke, Director of the Veste Coburg Art Collections), Haleh Redjaian, (selected by Julie Metzdorf, broadcast journalist and author of Art Aurea), Steven KP, (selected by Patti Bleicher, Galerie Loupe, Montclair, USA), Sonngard Marcks, (selected by Andreas Platthaus, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Søren Krag, (selected by Michaela Braesel and Wolfgang Lösche, Galerie Handwerk, Munich).

Felieke van der Leest, Art Aurea

Felieke van der Leest, Scrotum Clamp: Scratchy, 2020. Textile, plastic animal, oxidized silver, cubic zircon, glass beads, 11 × 6.5 × 5.5 cm. One of the many works within the new Arts Crafts World section.

The following are further articles in issue No. 44:

Two from Padua

Before Renzo Pasquale and Annamaria Zanella became a couple, they worked as teachers at the Istituto Pietro Selvatico in Padua. Goldsmiths and instructors at this art academy have shaped the art of jewelry in Italy since the 1950s. The so-called “Padua School” also played an essential role in enabling contemporary jewelry to gain international recognition as a bona fide artistic genre.

Annamaria Zanella and Renzo Pasquale

Jewelry artists and spouses: Annamaria Zanella and Renzo Pasquale. Photo Daniela Martin.

Proudly African – Jewellery Affairs

It all began with an internship as a goldsmith in Lesotho. This first encounter sparked enthusiasm for Africa in Martina Dempf, who later became a jewelry artist, gallery owner and ethnologist.
Her collection, augmented with works by European artists, will be on display at the Bengel Foundation in Idar-Oberstein in 2021 and at the Goldschmiedehaus Hanau in the autumn. An interview with Martina Dempf and stunning photographs of jewelry from Africa in dialogue with contemporary Western art jewelry.

Martina Dempf, Proudly African - Jewellery Affairs

For young Turkana men, here dancing, Western accessories and clothing are also popular. © Martina Dempf, 2014. The exhibition Proudly African – Jewellery Affairs is to be seen in Idar-Oberstein and Hanau.

A Slave Chain Made of Glass Beads

As part of her graduation project to earn her bachelor’s degree at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hildesheim, Luisa Kuschel created a bead-studded ‘slave chain’, for which she won the MEA-proTecc design award.Her jewelry is an indictment of colonial crimes and the racism of our time.

Luisa Kuschel, Art Aurea

Luisa Kuschel, jewelry artist and graduate of HAWK, Hildesheim. Photo Ben Frik.

Happy Finland

After the long dry spell caused by the pandemic, the first events begin. Among them is the Heidelberg gallery Marianne Heller. In her exhibition Finland. Art from the Happiest Country in the World – Ceramics, Glass, Jewelry, she is showing works by Jasmin Anoschkin, Erna Aaltonen, Johanna Rytkölä, Pekka Paikkari, Heiki Viinikainen and Terhi Tolvanen. Until 25. 07. 2021. Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 2.

Erna Aaltonen, Art Aurea

Erna Aaltonen, Sunny, 2019. Ceramic art and more from Finland. Until 25.07.2021 at Galerie Marianne Heller, Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 2,

Please give us some feedback

If you would like to know more about the current Art Aurea issue 44, summer 2021 or have any other questions, please send an e-mail to or simply give us a call. Phone 0049 731 950 84 90. We look forward to hearing from you.