August 24 – September 29, 2018
In a landscape there is no such thing as old and new. It is a spiritual place outside of time,” says artist Daniel Kruger when speaking about his native South-West Africa. This same sentiment can be applied to Kruger’s work, which has always carried an aura of timelessness.
In Decorum, Kruger’s new exhibition at Sienna Patti, combines recent works with those from throughout the artist’s career. In this way, the exhibition is representative of Kruger’s practice—early pieces feel just as fresh as they did when they first left the artist’s hands while new pieces could be placed almost anywhere along the continuum of his work. This exhibition exemplifies Kruger’s uncanny ability to create objects that seem to exist in the liminal space between past and present.
While some artists work in distinct series, Kruger prefers to weave back and forth revisiting shapes, forms, materials, and modes of production. Kruger brings together of innately different components that mirror the contradictory factions of his life—the barrenness of the South African landscape contrasted by the man-made relics of its colonial history; his grandparents’ lush garden filled with alien plants not native to the area; manufactured objects repaired through stitching, knotting and tying. Kruger carefully balances this tension to connect the different trajectories of his work. In Decorum represents Kruger’s celebration of ornament and the continuity of things.
Daniel Kruger was born in South Africa and currently lives in Germany, where he recently retired from University for Art and Design, in Halle. Kruger studied under Professor Hermann Junger at the Academy of Fine Arts, receiving his diploma in 1980. Since completing his studies Daniel’s work has been exhibited widely by galleries and museums internationally and recognized with awards and distinctions worldwide for his contribution to contemporary jewelry. He has lectured about jewelry, his work in jewelry and ceramics, and has taught workshops around the world. A recent recipient of the prestigious Herbert Hofmann Prize, his work can be seen in renowned public collections including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Montreal; Pforzheim Schmuckmuseum im Reuchlinhaus, Germany; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Montreal; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich Germany; The Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry, Tokyo; and The Power House Museum, Sydney.
Taking cues from historical artifacts and Euclidean geometry, jewelry and ceramic designer Daniel Kruger says that many of his pieces “have a distinct erotic quality.” His creations are often symmetrical and in pairs: two-pronged rings, brooches hiding double pearls, necklaces with twin pendants. He balances mathematical patterns—grids, tessellating shapes—with softer, more organic lines. It’s Kruger’s choice of materials, such as silver, turquoise, and coral, that give his works their aura of ancient treasure. Kruger is not loyal to particular time periods or regions though; influences include everything from Apache beading to Byzantine enamelwork.