One Woman Group Show by Karen Pontoppidan

Exhibition  /  MunichJewelleryWeek2019  /  14 Feb 2019  -  05 May 2019
Published: 06.03.2019
One Woman Group Show by Karen Pontoppidan.
Villa Stuck
Ellen Maurer Zilioli
Michael Buhrs
The One Woman Group Exhibition, display.
. Photo by: Jann Averwerser.
The One Woman Group Exhibition, display.
Photo by: Jann Averwerser

© By the author. Read Copyright.

Karen Pontoppidan artistic philosophy and work go hand in hand with a fundamental and radical change in contemporary art jewelry.

Artist list

Karen Pontoppidan
Current insights into the social significance of identity and gender within the framework of gender studies, for example, or the political and social role of art, form the background for the basic assumptions in her work and teaching (2006 - 2015 as a professor at the Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden, and since 2015 as a professor at the Akademie der bildenden Künste, in Munich, Germany). These insights also inform her demands for an expansion of consciousness in her discipline and for a dismantling and innovative revitalization of her subject-matter under premises and creative conditions that reflect these current insights.

With all this in mind, the artist presents her subject-matter in such a way as to suggest how a discipline so strongly conditioned by tradition and the genre's own history can react to our epoch, to explosive concerns and to existential problems. In her work, she herself has developed a many-faceted aesthetic that seems contradictory at first glance. THE ONE WOMAN GROUP EXHIBITION, therefore, is a fitting title for this exhibition, as it counteracts and undermines the viewer’s expectations of artist images and the conceptions of works of art that have accompanied us since the age of bourgeois idealism.

With this presentation of around 150 works from the last twenty years, the artist allows a broader public, for the first time, to participate in a complex discourse and to gain insight into the demanding and critical transformation of the jewelry genre of her generation.

As the exhibition unfolds, the artifice of the make-believe camouflage and the division of a single creator of the objects into numerous female authors become apparent. Each chapter in the exhibition has therefore been assigned to a fake author. In fact, however, it is a consistent and ultimately logical oeuvre that unfolds before our eyes. Even during her studies in Munich with Otto Künzli, whose assistant Pontoppidan then also became, she dealt with negative feelings such as disgust and ugliness, which actually, for jewelry, were completely frowned upon at the time. The result, however, proves to be astonishing, because the colorful BLUMEN&BOLLER – as this group of works is called – are quite suitable for adaption to the body. It is with this astonishment in mind that Pontoppidan strives for an element of confrontation, and it is to this end that she infuses absurd, outlandish qualities into her artwork using engraving and enamel techniques.

Groups of works with a sculptural character and which relate to social surroundings and individual contexts are the cumulative result of these efforts. The unshapely, as an aesthetic element and as an incisive disruptive factor, gives her pendants – the necklaces from the cycle FAMILY PORTRAITS for instance, an alien appearance. An appearance nonetheless, which, through its poetic, almost melancholic charisma, receives an atmospheric effect that eases the break and cushions the impact with the conventional image of jewelry. Recently, Pontoppidan has been analysing relationships between the arts commonly referred to as applied and free. The trilogy CANVAS_CONTEXT_CASH from 2010-2014 combines behaviors and citations from both areas and, with an ironic effect, mixes these instruments to create an object that serves as jewelry. In KNELL - THE GENDER BELL (2016/2018), the author comments – through the use of bell-like forms as pendants – on the voice as a theme: its space, its range and its raison d'être. Hidden inside these resonant structures are mysterious clappers; each of a shape or material rich in associations, and each of which is able to produce quite a decent tone. These groups of works will furthermore be joined by completely newly created cycles which complement the body of art jewelry, but also go beyond it.

During this period, Pontoppidan completely freed herself from the classical dogma of jewelry, and – constantly deliberating and wrestling with the trained goldsmith within herself – she shamelessly and provocatively shifted back and forth between experimental deconstruction within conceptually influenced series of works, the demand for freedom of artistic gesture and design; and their intellectual depth and aesthetic representation. This high- level balancing act was by no means harmless.

With it, jewelry has moved back into the realm of art. This time, however, enriched through the addition of content, which, in this form, had never been seen before. This content embeds jewelry itself within a superordinate social change; one that increasingly lends the artistic media an openness and ambiguity of expression – without completely negating the pleasure of, in our case, jewelry.

In Munich, in particular, with its world-famous and internationally connected jewelry scene that hosts a mega-event centered, among other activities, around gallery and museum exhibitions and around the special jewelry show at the IHM, a leading trade fair for craft trades, the statement that Karen Pontoppidan's exhibition at the Museum Villa Stuck makes is more than obligatory. The avant garde is at home here, and this where the avant garde of this genre will continue to present its work.


Insights tours
With Dr. Ellen Maurer-Zilioli, Curator Wednesday, 20 and 27 March as well as 3 April 2019, 5 pm guided tour free of charge, discounted admission.

Artist talk with Karen Pontoppidan and Dr. Ellen Maurer-Zilioli
Sunday, 10 and Sunday, 17 March 2019, 2 pm.

Apéro with Karen Pontoppidan and Dr. Ellen Maurer-Zilioli
Friday, 15 March 2019, 5 pm at Museum Villa Stuck. Subsequently opening of the exhibition SCHMUCKISMUS at Pinakothek der Moderne.

Friday Late
On the first Friday of the month, 6–10 pm, free admission Guided tours of the Munich Volkshochschule (Adult Education Centre, MVHS) Friday, 1 March, 5 April and 3 May, 2019, 8.30 pm guided tour free of charge. 

Friday Late 5 April 2019, 7 p.m.
Tour through the exhibition with Karen Pontoppidan and Prof. Dr. Maria Muhle, Department of Philosophy and Aesthetic Theory, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich.


Tuesday - Sunday: 11 am – 6 pm. 
Karen Pontoppidan. Brooch: O.T. (Selbstporträt mit Ziege), 2002. Silver, enamel.. Photo by: Antje Hanebeck. Karen Pontoppidan
Brooch: O.T. (Selbstporträt mit Ziege), 2002
Silver, enamel.
Photo by: Antje Hanebeck
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Karen Pontoppidan. Pendant: CASH#9, 2014. Silver coins, paint, thread.. Photo by: Karen Pontoppidan. Karen Pontoppidan
Pendant: CASH#9, 2014
Silver coins, paint, thread.
Photo by: Karen Pontoppidan
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Karen Pontoppidan. Ring: O.T. (Titanic), 1999. Silver, enamel.. Photo by: Karen Pontoppidan. Karen Pontoppidan
Ring: O.T. (Titanic), 1999
Silver, enamel.
Photo by: Karen Pontoppidan
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Karen Pontoppidan. Ring: O.T. (Badeanzug), 2006. Silver, niello.. Photo by: Karen Pontoppidan. Karen Pontoppidan
Ring: O.T. (Badeanzug), 2006
Silver, niello.
Photo by: Karen Pontoppidan
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Karen Pontoppidan. Pendant: HOMEs, 2008-2010. Tin, paint, thread.. Photo by: Karen Pontoppidan. Karen Pontoppidan
Pendant: HOMEs, 2008-2010
Tin, paint, thread.
Photo by: Karen Pontoppidan
© By the author. Read Copyright.