Gésine Hackenberg | Blue, White and Others
November 1 – December 21, 2013
Netherlands based artist Gésine Hackenberg’s work places ordinary objects of use in the perspective of jewellery. She reflects their emotional value and possible position on the body. Her pieces are based on craft techniques and various materials that tell their own stories about preciousness and adornment, like ceramic tableware, (precious) metal, Japanese Urushi lacquer and glassware. They refer to the validity of traditional themes and their heritage. In the same time, they merge concepts like jewellery, ornaments and objects of use. Her work is in the public collections of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands; the Victoria and Albert Museum, United Kingdom; the Institute of Modern Art, United Kingdom; and the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City among others. This is her second solo exhibition at the gallery.
Gésine Hackenberg often gives objects a new and unexpected life by transforming them. In a way she is reusing and recycling material. She consciously isolates the various associations with objects that inhere material, pattern and shape to inspire her jewellery and yield a strong emotional impact with those objects.
In the “Ceramic Jewellery” series, she plays with deconstruction and reconstruction by drilling pieces out of earthenware, a material that is widespread throughout the Netherlands. It offers a whole universe of shapes, found in plates, dishes, and pudding moulds. These disc-shaped ‘beads’ are firmly threaded to (almost object-like) necklaces, or set into rings and earrings. The remaining ceramic material, with lace-like patterns in it, goes with the piece of jewellery.
The newest works in this new series use blue and white as the main colour palette. These colours are the most popular in ceramic production worldwide. In the Netherlands it is traditionally the Delftware that is hand painted in blue and white, and both a decorative and luxurious collector’s item. Faïence ware from the Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum manufactory is painted with a wider spectrum. The plain white kitchen ceramics used in this collection come from a more daily context and include a decorative shape as a substitute for colour.
Gésine Hackenberg new works particularly raise the question whether the act of reworking on such precious objects has increased or diminished their value.
About the Artist
Born in Germany, Gésine Hackenberg has lived and worked in Amsterdam for the past 15 years. Before graduating from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2001, she was trained as a goldsmith and studied jewellery design at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung Pforzheim (Germany). She has recently received her Master of Art.
Gésine Hackenberg is currently Visiting Professor at the MAD-Faculty in Hasselt (Belgium) and has been teaching technical metal-smithing classes at the Vakschool Edelsmeden in Amsterdam since 2008. She has received three grants from The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, as well as other awards such as the Stokroos Foundation Scholarship for Modern Silver in 2010 (combined with an exhibition at the Netherlands Zilvermuseum Schoonhoven). Her work is published in numerous international publications and included in collections such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL), the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), the Mima Middelsbrough Institute of Modern Art (UK) and the Museum of Arts and Design, NY (USA).
Selected Private Collections
CODA Museum Apeldoorn (NL)
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (NL)
Mima Middelsbrough Institute of Modern Art (UK)
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL)
Museum of Arts and Design, NY (USA)
National Museums Scotland (UK)
Nederlands Zilvermuseum Schoonhoven (NL)
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL)
Victoria and Albert Museum (UK)