The artists’ thought-provoking ideas, mastery of both traditional and unconventional materials, and innovative techniques evince the individualism and technical virtuosity of jewelers who have given free flight to their imaginations to create unique objects imbued with great vitality. The collection includes works dating from the 1950s to the present by international luminaries including Claire Falkenstein and Arline Fisch (U.S.); Wendy Ramshaw (U.K.); Bruno Martinazzi, Giampaolo Babetto, and Annamaria Zanella (Italy); Friedrich Becker, Karl Fritsch, and Daniel Kruger (Germany); Emmy van Leersum and Ted Noten (the Netherlands); Peter Skubic (Austria); Deganit Schocken (Israel); Tone Vigeland (Norway), and many more.
Placing the works into six distinctive groupings, the exhibition emphasizes subtle differences in design, material, and workmanship that underlie each artist’s improvisations on the ring form. Rings based on strict geometry are juxtaposed with freer forms that extend the boundaries of the body. Rings that embrace a dense darkness are set against those exploring light and lightness or reveling in color. Another grouping focuses on rings that engage the sense of touch with sensuous smooth surfaces or attract and repel with sharp edges and dangerous spikes. The largest grouping is devoted to works that communicate the complexity of human relationships, from the highly personal to the universal, or suggest grotesque or dream-like apparitions, embodying rich narratives crystallized in an intimate format. The exhibition includes a major gift of 50 rings to the SCAD Museum of Art Permanent Collection.