The mudac is hosting a retrospective dedicated to Otto Künzli, with more than 300 pieces that illustrate his ingenious and humorous approach to conceptual jewellery.
The mudac is hosting the first major retrospective to be dedicated to that master of contemporary jewellery, Otto Kunzli.
Demonstrating a wit as sharply honed as his creative skills, the Swiss artist presents more than 300 pieces that illustrate his ingenious and humorous approach to conceptual jewellery.
Otto Kunzli revolutionised the art of contemporary jewellery. While respecting its primary function as bodily adornment, Kunzli throughout his 45-year career as a creator has consistently broken down its codes, questioned its materials and subverted its symbols. Behind the role of mentor so respected by his pupils lies a mischievous spirit with the audacity to push the boundaries. Thus, he transforms the references of our collective imagination (from the Swiss cross to Mickey Mouse), denounces the pretentions of jewellery (“Gold makes us blind,” he says) and overturns the codes of everyday objects (picture frames are turned into necklaces) with his trademark humour and irony.
Set up in close cooperation with the artist, the retrospective is built around the major themes of his life’s work and his travels, both real and imagined. The United States and its obsession with the bottom line, Switzerland and its gold bars, the Australian bush, Japanese lacquer and vapour trails in the sky are leitmotivs that recur throughout the exhibition. In addition, one room is given over to his early work. In a departure from its usual practice, the mudac has decided to look beyond the works themselves, seeking out anecdotes or commentaries for each piece.