Rings Without End

Karl Fritsch

November 19, 2019–December 06, 2019

Salon 94

Salon 94 announces our third major exhibition of work by renowned artist and jeweler Karl Fritsch. With over 100 unorthodox ring iterations on display, one will experience the full spectrum and play of Karl Fritsch!

In an explosion of creative energy over the last year, Fritsch has combined what seems to be endless variations of precious stones with non-traditional materials. Often times cutting and carving the stones himself, Fritsch has opened up an entirely new range of possibilities that build up—and dismantle—classic notions and categories of the good and the beautiful.

Each of Fritsch’s works evidence ongoing material and aesthetic conversations and propose questions anew: What intensity of treatment can a ruby accept? How forgiving are synthetic stones? How much weight can a ring handle? How drastically can a jeweler update a motif before it is considered transformed? Are there times that accumulation might be seen as a subtractive process rather than an additive one, or that cutting away leaves positive marks? How might we invert classic commitments to scale, weight, and balance in unexpected and exciting ways?

Fritsch continues to articulate timely and generations of display, illustration, figuration, accumulation, and abstraction. Many works retain fingerprints of the artist that are made permanent in the lost-wax casting technique; patinas are both coarse and refined. Well known for his work incorporating text—many rings greet the wearer, and those whom they engage, with a warm HI—other categories, or families, of rings revisit and expand upon motifs such as faces, animals, or, simply, lumps of metal. Taking on the body as the support for these expressive objects, Fritsch’s wearable artworks transform and the wearer into the site of art.

Fritsch describes his approach as:
My approach to designing jewelry is very much based on the making, I love the processes and I love the materials involves. Metals allow you to do certain things to them and I keep testing what they allow me to do and what they are comfortable or uncomfortable with. When I start making, my brain also starts joining in and ideas evolve within the process and the pieces grow into what I am thinking or not thinking at the moment. There is an important element of accident.

Karl Fritsch will deliver a lecture at Cooper Hewitt, followed by a conversation between the jeweler and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn moderated by curator and scholar Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Wednesday November 20th at 7:00pm.

Karl Fritsch (b. 1963, Sonthofen, Germany) lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand, relocating from Munich, Germany in 2009. In 2006 he received the Françoise van den Bosch Award, given every 2 years to an international jewelry and object maker who is recognized for his or her influence and contribution to the field. He has exhibited at The Museum of Metropolitan Art, New York; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York; The StedelijkMuseum, Amsterdam; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Galerie Biro, Munich; Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington; and Salon 94, New York.

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