Back

Claude Schmitz: an european approach

Exhibition  /  16 May 2008  -  01 Jun 2008
Published: 21.05.2008
Gallery deux poissons
Management:
Tomohiko Mori
Claude Schmitz. Brooch: Blue laurus, 2007. Silver, laquer. Claude Schmitz
Brooch: Blue laurus, 2007
Silver, laquer
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
(...) What then grasps the fascination of the artist, who seeks his own distinctive language to allow his creativity to express itself in its unmistakable way? Claude Schmitz knowingly rears his roots, yet seeks greater grounds to grow to full flourish. (...)
Emotionalized Form


Tracing creativity and its inherent mechanisms steers the hunter towards the conflict between the principles of artistic versus formal design. The imitative principle - that is deriving inspiration from imitation, be the sources natural or cultural - obstinately refers back to its starting point and benefits from abstraction. This process can be discerned in every culture and, from an historic perception, its meaning is subject to various degrees of attention. Our interest in Japanese culture has thus gone through several diachronic moments of evaluation. For instance, the collections objects in miracle chambers (in German: Wunderkammern) – abstraction through selection – the avant-garde’s response to the woodcuts of Katsushika Hokusai and Ando Hiroshige’s – abstraction through affirmation – always comprised elements of misunderstandings in their appropriations. In the 20th and 21st centuries, this chronological disjunction has evolved towards a direct mutual exchange, facilitated by parallel appropriations (cf. Bruno Taut’s comparative analysis of Japanese building typologies), and has finally merged into a contradictory but simultaneously meaningful international awareness.

Nonetheless, synonyms for certain societal attitudes and typologies spring up. Can we though approach other cultures by neutralizing physical and cultural context, and does our world picture set the context within a different framework? What then grasps the fascination of the artist, who seeks his own distinctive language to allow his creativity to express itself in its unmistakable way? Claude Schmitz knowingly rears his roots, yet seeks greater grounds to grow to full flourish.

It is in the nature of things that that which is self-evident does not attract attention, and it is a long time since that which has evolved out of culture last perceived all of its own forms or changes in form, or that of others. We thus move on a daily basis within a framework in which one either positions oneself or is positioned. The artist seeks, or investigates, the correlations, the conditionalities of form and thereby also society, in all phases of coexistence. Whoever is unwilling to question the proximity to the subject will certainly be frustrated. For as long as I have consciously dedicated myself to art, the world of jewellery has always fascinated me due to its proximity to the subject and the relativity of subject and object. The differing definitions of surfaces, borders - in the German-speaking world: bearing one's destiny, displaying one's concern, etc. - make their contribution to jewellery art being of archetypal significance. Proximity to performance, but also the claims arising from the early artistic deliberations of the 20th century, from the whole concept surrounding the avant-garde - the temporary appreciation in the acceptance of artwork, also bring jewellery into contemporary discussion and produce equilibrium among artists for the first time.

Developments, artistic projects, can generally only be considered as such in hindsight, and I see two fundamental strands in Claude Schmitz's work. In the earlier works conceptual conflict moves into the foreground, combined with groundbreaking technique. Witty and suggestive word combinations partly condition the artistic production and are lent form with an ease and naturalness. Wearability as a central theme is re-examined for each individual object and compiled in the sketchbook in a dense network of new images and forms. The term sketchbook is perhaps too out-of-date, however; one should rather refer to an instruction manual, one in which specific things are achieved in different chapters. These books are full of ideas and not meant for their recipients. They provide information regarding an extremely self-critical conflict with the objects. The intention was never the continuation of a Sixties art form, the declared aim was always to reconcile concept and form in a professionally executed manner. Conditionalities must be created, until a hard and fast self-definition is obtained.

The materials used have always been what one can genuinely define as traditional. Classic materials in a context of value and significance, which Claude Schmitz specifically applies to and reflects on in his works. In more recent works apparently playful and lightly naturalistic elements are arranged in a rigorous form, patination and varnish move across the same levels of meaning. Through simple geometries he highlights the adjusted form, although driving them into a new network of relationships, in a condition of self-reflection free from decoration. All of his works are of the highest quality finish; those with a freer form, rather misleading the onlooker in their "playfulness", bear the stamp of the tight roll rings, of the elaborate necklace, stone and coral structures. These are not arbitrary conglomerates whose design principle is governed by chance, however, rather the sophisticated result of a defined working context. With their emotionalized form the earlier works can be described as striking, if one thinks of the various large discs which at first swim seemingly happily around three stone flowers, tilting towards one another across the surface, and then challenge the recipients provocatively, almost photographically still.

Just as one clearly senses the presence of Claude Schmitz personally, he also manages to transfer it into his work, which then also makes it fittingly "harmonious" for us. 

Dietmar Tanterl – Artist (Munich) 


Claude Schmitz. Brooch: Been waiting, 2007. Silver, patina. Claude Schmitz
Brooch: Been waiting, 2007
Silver, patina
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Claude Schmitz. Ring: Green rectangle II, 2008. Gold, green tourmaline. Claude Schmitz
Ring: Green rectangle II, 2008
Gold, green tourmaline
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Claude Schmitz. Ring: Green rectangle III, 2008. Gold, green tourmaline. Claude Schmitz
Ring: Green rectangle III, 2008
Gold, green tourmaline
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Claude Schmitz. Ring: Pink round, 2008. Gold, pink tourmaline. Claude Schmitz
Ring: Pink round, 2008
Gold, pink tourmaline
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Claude Schmitz. Brooch: White laurus, 2008. Silver, laquer. Claude Schmitz
Brooch: White laurus, 2008
Silver, laquer
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Claude Schmitz. Brooch: Yellow laurus, 2008. Silver, laquer. Claude Schmitz
Brooch: Yellow laurus, 2008
Silver, laquer
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Appreciate APPRECIATE