Returning to the jewel is a return from exile
Returning to the jewel is a return from exile features three outstanding master technicians of the jeweller’s art: Robert Baines, Karl Fritsch and Gerd Rothmann, who between them produce some of the best examples of international and Australian contemporary jewellery practice.
A comprehensive presentation of the highly regarded work of these distinguished jewellers demonstrates their innovative use of materials in creating multifaceted works which reveal an ongoing commitment to exploring new ideas in contemporary jewellery making. The artists’ exceptional craft skills successfully challenge the historical conventions of both sculpture and jewellery making and all are represented in a significant number of major public art collections throughout Australia, Europe, Asia and the USA.
Robert Baines is one of Australia’s most influential and prominent jewellery makers, notable for works which combine precious metals powder coated in colour with rare stones and miniature plastic components. He is also a recognised authority on the historical and contemporary aspects of gold and silversmithing and speaks at many international jewellery events.
Munich-based artists Karl Fritsch and Gerd Rothmann also have strongly established international reputations as master jewellers. Karl Fritsch is notable for his avant-garde ideas and the creation of jewellery that is intricately constructed yet often coarsely finished, and which can also be viewed as miniature sculpture. His playful work is remarkable for the way in which he kneads and bends metal to produce extraordinary shapes.
Gerd Rothmann has been experimenting with the concept of contemporary jewellery and how it relates to the human body since the 1970s. His work is distinguished by his use of impressions or imprints from skin, such as fingerprints, translated directly onto the surface of his metal forms.