A Mind of Their Own

Jewelry from Austria now at Goldschmiedehaus Hanau. A focus on female artists.

Featuring jewelry objects, sculptural and conceptual works by 53 artists, this exhibition offers an exciting insight into jewelry-making in Austria dating back to the 1970s. Emphasis is placed on the female protagonists of this period, whose works are presented in relation to specific roles assumed by the middle and young generations of both sexes. This exhibition illustrates the diverse developments in the exciting and heterogeneous jewelry scene that has developed in Austria, thanks to some specific circumstances. Here we are referring, among other things, to the history of the Wiener Werkstätte [“Vienna Workshop”], using the human body as both a subject and object in the visual arts, and the unique attitude to education in this country. The title is a reference to the exhibition “Willful Art: Contemporary Art by Women, 1985” at the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts [Museum of the 20th Century], Vienna. It was conceived and organized by Ursula Guttmann, Susanne Hammer and Gabriele Kutschera.


AND_i, Defender, from the series Public Enemy, mask, anodised aluminium, elastic band, 2015, photo Irina Gavrich, © Andreas Eberharter, Copyright, Wien 2022.

Waltrud Viehböck

Waltrud Viehböck, Mesh pendant. 925 silver, wire mesh of chrome nickel steel, bronze, 1987, photo Eric Asamoah.

Since the late 1960s, the socalled author jewellery has increasingly established itself internationally as an art form. This not only manifests itself in the use of new materials and techniques, but it also reflects and interprets the social, cultural and aesthetic developments of its time. The focus is usually placed on one concept: the use of jewelry as a medium for a statement. Moving away from the notion that jewelry is purely decorative, we see it therefore assuming the form of independent and idiosyncratic objects. This exhibition aims to bring to life developments that have shaped today’s jewelry scene in Austria and to establish cross connections between jewelry works from the early years and those of contemporary artists. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by Arnoldsche Art Publisher.

Beatrix Kaufmann

Beatrix Kaufmann, hook & loop, throwable object, polyamide, nylon rivets, 2009, photo Beatrix Kaufmann.

Verena Formanek

Verena Formanek, Untitled, brooch, from the series Kugellagerbroschen, anodised aluminium, ball bearing, 1982 – 1987, photo Verena Formanek.

Artists: Eva Afuhs, AND_i, Andrea Auer, Elisabeth Altenburg, Isolde Baumhackl-Oswald, Gabriele Kutschera, Sonja Bischur, BLESS, Susanne Blin, Gunda Maria Cancola, Elisabeth J. Gu. Defner, Petr Dvorak, Benedikt Fischer, Verena Formanek, Ursula Guttmann, Pia Groh, Andrea MAXA Halmschlager, Elisabeth Habig, Susanne Hammer, Margit Hart, Brigitte Haubenhofer-Salicites, Anna Heindl, Alexandra Hofer, Christian Hoedl, Paul Iby, Ulrike Johannsen, Beatrix Kaufmann, Michelle Kraemer, Brigitte Lang, Erika Leitner, Jaqueline I. Lillie, Gerti Machacek, Doris Maninger, Theresa Macourek, Stephie Morawetz, Martina Mühlfellner, Anita Münz, Viktoria Münzker, paula.paul, Nadine Pramhas, Konstanze Prechtl, Ulrich Reithofer, Anna Riess, Eva Schmeiser-Čadia, Veronika Schwarzinger, Ina Seidl, Claudia Steiner, Bernhard Stimpfl-Abele, Waltrud Viehböck, Birgit Wiesinger/Eva Tesarik, Ulrike Zehetbauer-Engelhart, Petra Zimmermann.

  • Goldschmiedehaus Hanau
    Altstädter Markt 6
    63450 Hanau
  • Opening: Thursday, 23 February, 7 p.m.
  • Link