Gallery Funaki presents a new body of work from Karl Fritsch, whose lovingly iconoclastic take on jewellery history has accorded him cult hero status in the world of contemporary jewellery and beyond. His rings, both precious and anti-precious, beautiful and proudly unbeautiful, bear the weight and scars of centuries of embedded cultural belief about jewellery’s manifestation of status. Using precious materials as well as rough-hewn aluminium, stones and glass, Fritsch’s work has the look of something buried for a thousand years while remaining utterly contemporary.
Selected works will also be shown from a recent collaboration between Fritsch and Auckland based photographer Gavin Hipkins. 'Der Tiefenglanz', which roughly translates as “deep gloss”, reveals the playful exchange of ideas between two remarkable artists working at the height of their careers.
Gavin Hipkins’ images are ambiguous, their black and white iconography hinting at narratives that remain suspended and nebulous. His photographs are hand printed using analogue techniques including solarisation, each image drawn from an archive of negatives taken in locations all over the world and often touching upon the realm of the unheimlich. Fritsch then intervenes using his own palette of precious and artificial stones, lumps of metal, scratches and handmade marks, further pushing the images into the realm of apocrypha and dreamscape. Together, Fritsch and Hipkins create material assemblages that explore surface and the illusion of depth with wit and subtlety.
Parts of this collaboration are currently on show at the Museum of Art and Design in New York as part of the Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography exhibition.