Barbara Seidenath: A Case Study in Contemporary Jewelry 

Exhibition  /  14 May 2011  -  30 Jun 2011
Published: 19.05.2011
150 Greene street
NY 10012 -  New York
(212) 204-7100
(212) 204-7101
Barbara Seidenath. Ring: Untitled. Silver, gold, crystal with enamel 'foils'. Barbara, SeidenathRingsSilver, gold, crystal with enamel 'foils'. Barbara Seidenath
Ring: Untitled
Silver, gold, crystal with enamel "foils"

Barbara, Seidenath
Silver, gold, crystal with enamel "foils"

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This exhibition is Gallery Loupe's ongoing collaboration with Moss, the internationally recognized design gallery in Soho. The second artist to be presented in Case Study is Barbara Seidenath.

Artist list

Barbara Seidenath
Gallery Loupe is pleased to announce the second installation of A Case Study in Contemporary Jewelry, our ongoing collaboration with Moss, the internationally recognized design gallery in Soho, New York. Case Study occupies a designated vitrine at Moss, and features a series of highly curated exhibitions of unique works in Contemporary Studio Jewelry.  Each exhibition presents work by a single international jewelry artist currently represented by Gallery Loupe. The exhibitions change approximately every eight weeks. Each small, very considered exhibition will establish this project as an illuminating view of contemporary art jewelry. The second artist to be presented in Case Study is Barbara Seidenath. Featured will be unique, signed rings in silver, gold, and crystal with enamel "foils."

"From the Middle Ages through the 18th century, goldsmiths have been using the process of altering the appearance of a gemstone by changing or enhancing its color through the use of foils. The motives behind this were varied: from the desire to create a colorful gem from clear quartz, which was more abundant and found locally, to, later on, the need to obtain a desired uniformity of color in the ornaments of the 17th and 18th centuries.
I became aware of this technique through my interest in historic jewelry, especially Medieval and Renaissance ornaments. After exploring geometric, crystalline shapes in my three-dimensional, enameled brooches, in which I created my own "minerals", I turned next to working with real crystals. There are many reasons why I choose to work in the format of "hand ornaments", as I call them, because the dimensions of these objects are related to the hand rather than the finger, as is the ring. For one, the ring and the hand ornament are both three-dimensional objects that are worn directly on the body without any findings. They are worn on the hand, and therefore not subjected to weight restrictions as other ornaments. Most importantly, they are pieces of jewelry constantly enjoyed by the wearer because of their prominent position on the body. Whereas the brooches explored space through constructed forms and illusionary depth, created by layering enamel over engraved designs, the hand ornaments work differently.
These objects work on several levels: the form or exterior space, the surface and the internal space within the stone. The crystals are cut freehand with the most interesting and beautiful parts of their individual natural mineral surface left intact. The polished facets establish a contrast to the naturally grown surfaces and serve as windows into the complex interior space. In place of the historic foils, engraved drawings and enamel introduce color, set a mood and complement nature and artifice. These wearable objects represent small worlds within and make a bold statement at the same time."
-Barbara Seidenath
About Barbara Seidenath:
Jewelry artist Barbara Seidenath (born 1960, Munich, Germany) attended the State School for Glass and Jewelry, Neugablonz, Germany from 1977-1980, obtained a BFA in Goldsmithing from SUNY, New Paltz, NY in 1982, and a MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany. At the Academy in Munich, she studied under Hermann Jünger (1928-2005) who is regarded as one of the most influential contemporary jewelry artists.
Seidenath's work has been exhibited frequently since 1988, appearing in exhibitions at several leading museums, such as the Museum of the German Porcelain Industry, Hohenberg, Germany, the RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island, Museum of the Country of Baden, Karlsruhe, Germany, Museum of the City of Munich, the Design Museum, Munich, Germany, the American Craft Museum, New York , the Museum of Art & Design, Helsinki, Finland, the Museum Het Kruithuis, s'Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, and the Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin.
Seidenath is frequently invited to lecture throughout the USA and internationally. She is currently on the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.