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Karl Fritsch: Rings Without End


Fri 18 Nov 2011, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sat 19 Nov 2011, 10:00am–5:00pm
Mon 21 Nov 2011, 10:00am–5:00pm
Tue 22 Nov 2011, 10:00am–5:00pm
Wed 23 Nov 2011, 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: Objectspace, 13 Rose Road Ponsonby, Ponsonby, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Related Artists:

Karl Fritsch will give a floor talk at Objectspace on Friday 4 November at 5.30pm.

“There is always a reason to make a ring
But I can also make a ring without a reason.”

Karl Fritsch has been primarily making rings since 1992, apart from the very occasional other piece of jewellery. He works on dozens of rings simultaneously, moving between them, starting a new ring whenever a fresh idea appears. Fritsch likes the format, the ability to try a ring on and see it immediately as he is working on it. “It’s made with your hands and worn on your hands,” he says. “It’s so close to how it’s produced.”

The jewellery in Rings Without End is some of Fritsch’s newest work, espousing his playful and idiosyncratic approach to his materials. Rusty steel nails embrace a garnet in one ring, while in others jewels are embedded deep within the silver or gold, at times almost engulfed, compelling us to look and look again. The audacious concept of combining the provocatively unorthodox with traditional skills associated with jewellery history, the precious with the found, is central to Fritsch’s jewellery practice. Fritsch is interested in this juxtaposition of the prized and the prosaic, complicating our notion of the ring.

Fritsch’s approach to stone setting is sculptural, exposing the act of setting and the technical work of cutting, filing and moving material. In this the setting determines the look of the ring, becoming almost more important than the stone itself.

The pieces in Rings Without End have been oxidised, obscuring both silver and gold behind a coating of soot. An array of brightly coloured stones is set within this rough and rugged terrain. More of the ring is disclosed to its wearer as it is worn; the evolution of appearance a reflection of what the ring has experienced.

“The ring is desperate, desperate to find a finger, desperate to tell you: I love you, I am beautiful, I am rich, I am cool, I hate you, I come from Ireland or Austria, I want more, I have enough, I am married, I am funny, I am scary, stupid, important, I can't help you. I am.”

- Laura Howard

Karl Fritsch (born in Sonthofen, Germany) studied at Goldsmiths' College in Pforzheim and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the prestigious Françoise van den Bosch Award (2006). Fritsch's work is included in public and private collections nationally and internationally; the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum of Art and Crafts) in Hamburg, and MOMA in New York. He now lives in Wellington, and in New Zealand is represented by Hamish McKay Gallery in Wellington and Fingers in Auckland.

Exhibition on Friday 4 November – Wednesday 23 November 2011

Image credit: Karl Fritsch, Ring 2011. Silver, steel, garnet, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist and Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington.

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