Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen's Jewelry Lives On

Article  /  Artists   JensRudigerLorenzen   Obituary   History
Published: 08.06.2018
Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen.
. Photo by Sebastian Seibel. Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen.
Photo by Sebastian Seibel.

Andreas Gut
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Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen. Ring: Untitled. Steel, silver, parly clad in paper.. Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen
Ring: Untitled
Steel, silver, parly clad in paper.
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In the late 1960’s, Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen was one of the early advocates of a new understanding of jewelry, setting accents with very personal design concepts and unconventional materials. After training as an apprentice goldsmith, Lorenzen continued his studies at the Kunst + Werkschule Pforzheim (now a college) from 1965 to 1968 under Professor Reinhold Reiling. In addition to his independent work in his studio, Lorenzen made a significant contribution to the training of the following generations: from 1974 to 1985 at the Staatlichen Zeichenakademie Hanau and then as a professor at the college in Pforzheim until 2008.
We mourn our former professor Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen, who taught at our university from 1985 until 2008. He passed away on May 18 at the age of 75.
Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen, trained goldsmith, began his studies at the Staatliche Kunst + Werkschule, Pforzheim. He subsequently worked in his studio in Wuppertal and taught at the Staatliche Zeichenakademie in Hanau before succeeding Prof. Reiling in Pforzheim.
Those who studied under him benefitted from his method: his individual comments and critiques served to individually encourage the students to formulate their own vision. He never relieved his students of their artistic decision-making but rather encouraged them to take responsibility for their own actions; to trust in a creative process in which each step induces the next and each work leads to the following one. Many today still benefit from this experience in their professional and daily lives.

Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen. Necklace: Untitled. Steel, silver, partly clad in paper, lacquer.

As a professor, Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen was completely invested in maintaining the department's artistic independence and much of what he fought for during his tenure still defines the department today. He contributed greatly to the school's reputation but shunned the spotlight himself. We appreciated him as a teacher and a colleague very much. His circumspect manner, human approach and dry sense of humor distinguished him.
It was not his intention to influence students with his "style". As such many are primarily familiar with his work through important museum collections and catalogs, not the classroom. He never made a big deal of his significant involvement with Ornamenta. Most likely his wish not to have a public funeral and wake stems from his generally reserved manner.
In honor of Jens-Rüdiger Lorenzen, the Pforzheim Jewelry Museum has set up a showcase with his work. This provides us the opportunity to commemorate him though his work. He continually evolved his personal expression through jewelry up to the end, as evidenced in the special jewelry show at the International Crafts Fair, Hanau last March. His wife, the artist Bärbel Lorenzen was an immensely important partner to him and accompanied him for over 50 years.
In the name of the Pforzheim University Jewelry Department, Prof. Andreas Gut.
English translation Prof. Christine Lüdeke