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Glut – Glow – Ardore

Exhibition  /  24 Jun 2007  -  05 Aug 2007
Published: 15.05.2007
Galleria Maurer Zilioli
Therese Hilbert. Brooch: Glow, 2004 - 2007. Silver blackened, silver varnished. ? 58 mm,  H  18 mm. Therese Hilbert
Brooch: Glow, 2004 - 2007
Silver blackened, silver varnished
? 58 mm, H 18 mm
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Intro
(...) a goldsmith who has lent jewellery an aesthetic value in its own right – based on training that was avant-garde in orientation and a continuous, engaged investigation of what has been going on in international contemporary ‘auteur jewellery. (...)

Artist list

Therese Hilbert
‘In me slumber passions that are exploding ... I am a volcano.’
(Eugène Ionesco)

Therese Hilbert (b. in Zurich in 1948) is a goldsmith who has lent jewellery an aesthetic value in its own right – based on training that was avant-garde in orientation and a continuous, engaged investigation of what has been going on in international contemporary ‘auteur jewellery’.
Two institutions have left their mark on her: from 1964 to 1969 Hilbert trained at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Zurich with Max Fröhlich, followed – after practical experience in various workshops – by studies from 1972 until 1978 with Hermann Jünger at Munich Art Academy. Starting with the legacy of an objective, rational approach to materials and minimised form as we know it from a Switzerland under the sway of Max Bill and the Werkbund aesthetic between classical Modernism and the rebellious new departures of the 1960s, Hilbert transferred to the Munich scene, inspired by a climate driven by painterly and poetic impulses with the charis-matic artist Hermann Jünger at its centre. Hilbert was now confronted with a doctrine of style which represented a challenge to her, one with which her own ideas in jewellery had always clashed.

Therese Hilbert has drawn on all those sources of inspiration but above all, she has developed a language of forms distinctively her own. One might say, perhaps, that it has grown sequen-tially on the exceptionally rich topsoil of her artistic beginnings and has been distilled out of them as sharp as lance tips in a highly individual expression. And that is how her jewellery often looks: clearly and stringently constructed entities of matt or sulphurised anthracite coloured silver (Hilbert’s material of choice) – cut in ovals, circles or conical pointed figures. Smooth, sensuously seductive surfaces stretch like a skin round an inner life that somewhere or other unexpectedly swells, flickers forth or even erupts tellingly to reveal the energy latent in it. 

It is no coincidence that Hilbert has been preoccupied for years with the theme of ‘emotions’. It is no secret that the consummate metaphor for them is the volcano as a natural phenomenon. The Swiss jewellery artist is passionate about volcanoes and has become an expert on them, having climbed personally many of them. The works shown here have grown out of this passion: jewellery casings informed by a consistently geometric cogency and abstract calculation of form are united with delicate yet disturbing inclusions of colour and unusual, occasionally defamiliarised elements that erupt from the quiet, disciplined vessel bodies to make more room for themselves. In her most recent work, incandescence has increasingly come to the fore. Surfaces lacquered fiery red coat brooches that shimmer with a velvety sheen and are constructed as flat cylinders or pendants drawn in gentle, wavy outline. They all symbolise an avowal, a freedom that Hilbert has been a long time in approaching and which has now fully matured, a ‘glow’ that suffuses the woman or man wearing these pieces and is taken up or reflected, as it were, by the jewellery itself.

Since completing her studies, Therese Hilbert has shown work at museums and galleries world. Pieces of hers have found their way to important public collections such as the Pforzheim Jewellery Museum, the Power House Museum in Sydney, the Knapp Collection in New York, the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft Collection in Bern, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, just to mention a few. Definitively integrated in the contemporary avant-garde in jewellery, she has been featured with her work in the most important publications on the subject.
The exhibition at Galleria Maurer Zilioli in Desenzano del Garda is her first solo show in Italy. 

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