Germany/New Zealand, b. 1963
Karl Fritsch is a German-born, New Zealand based artist renowned for his iconoclastic reinterpretations of jewellery tradition. Using precious materials – gold, diamonds, sapphires – alongside semi-precious and synthetic stones, silver and even aluminium, Karl’s forms challenge accepted notions of preciousness and beauty with wit and irreverence. His highly covetable rings have seen him win numerous awards, including the Francoise van den Bosch Award (2006), and become a cult figure in contemporary jewellery.
Karl began his education at the Goldsmiths School in Pforzheim and later studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich under Professors Hermann Jünger and Otto Künzli. Fritsch exhibits internationally, at fine art galleries and jewellery galleries alike. His work has been acquired by leading international museums and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Pinakothek of Modern Art, Munich; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum Turnov/Czech Republic; Museum of Decorative Arts, Montréal/Canada; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Auckland Museum, New Zealand and Te Papa National Museum, Wellington.
“What I find really fascinating, and one of the reasons why it’s so interesting to make jewellery, is the moment of recognition when something that comes across cute and pretty has on second glimpse an almost obscene grotesqueness.” Karl Fritsch