Otto Künzli revolutionised the art of contemporary jewellery.
MUDAC Museum, Lausanne
Otto Künzli is one of the most renowned and respected jewellers working today. The Swiss-trained, Munich-based artist has created truly iconic examples of contemporary jewellery including 1995’s 1cm of Love and 1980’s Gold Macht Blind (Gold Makes You Blind). Künzli’s minimalist, meticulously crafted work references cultural and political phenomena, using the power of metaphor and iconography with wit and sophistication. He transforms the references of our collective imagination, denounces the pretentions of jewellery and overturns the codes of everyday objects with humour and irony.
Carole Guinard, director of mudac Museum in Lausanne, says of Ott Künzli "considered a master of conceptual jewellery, Künzli casts an ironic glance at the assumptions and foibles of our society; he is an iconoclast. Jewellery is his chosen medium of expression, but he does not disregard its ornamental function. He plays around with the symbols and references of our collective imagination. From one piece to another, he takes us on a journey to a world where we can have “Ten centimetres of infinity” or “Eight millimetres of love”, a world where hearts, crosses, circles and blades coexist with advertising logos, where Mickey Mouse’s head is superimposed on Columbus’s egg to make a shoulder ornament entitled “1492, when Mickey Mouse was born”.