Giampaolo Babetto (born 1947 in Padua) has had a marked influence on the avant-garde goldsmiths’ scene since the late 1960s. He is one of the protagonists of the Padua School and has significantly moulded the image of art jewellery in Italy and around the world.
Babetto’s work reflects contemporary art movements such as concrete art, minimal art, kinetic or op art in a unique, purist and plastic manner. Made up of different abstract elements, broken down into modular units, or rendered moveable through the use of ingenious links, Babetto’s works have a tectonic character — like mini architectural pieces or mini sculptures. As a jewellery artist who has received a number of awards, he prefers working in gold due to its stable malleability and its warm sheen which he combines with unconventional materials such as plastic or glass, dusting the surface with a velvet-like pigment in luminous reds or blues or using enamel and age-old niello-based techniques.
He has already been classified a mixed media artist, working not only on jewellery but also on silver objects, furniture design and architectural projects. His oeuvre reflects the uncompromising demands he places on his own handling of the various artistic disciplines, combined with a systematic approach and love of experimentation. With his expressive but nevertheless very wearable pieces, Babetto has become one of the most influential international jewellery artists.
The goldsmith Giampaolo Babetto and his works together embody two principles: both he and his jewels are marked by sensitivity and precision. These two principles come to fruition in geometry, which is the fundamental premise for a most sensitive and precise use of Babetto’s creative powers. Whatever his artistic development may be, even in the future, it will be based on these principles, of sensitivity and precision, linked to traces of an age-old and deep-rooted magic that has always been part of the creative work of a true artist of the goldsmith’s craft.’
Dr Fritz Falk
Curator of the Pforzheim Museum