ARCHIVE. EXHIBITION. Dorothea Prühl. Colliers. Necklaces
“To me, neck jewellery is jewellery par excellence”
Dorothea Prühl (b. in Breslau in 1937) is a leading contemporary artist in jewellery. Abstract impressions from nature, concentration on essentials, profound sensitivity and sculptural vigour distinguish her aesthetic stance. She makes fundamental statements in gold and silver — as well as wood, aluminium, titanium and stainless steel. Impressions, which are manifest in generous clarity of form. Starting with givens, she tracks down their inmost core, lending it a new aesthetic language — it might be a flower, the wind, a house. The object represented remains more or less recognisable, concealing no hidden messages so that it allows for no extrinsic interpretations.
After studying art at Burg Giebichenstein in Halle (1956—1962), Dorothea Prühl at first worked as a designer of mass-produced jewellery in industry before being offered a teaching post in jewellery “at the Castle” and a return to Halle. Together with Renate Heintze (1936—1991), Dorothea Prühl worked out a new training concept aimed at one-off pieces, which entailed both opposing the officially prescribed orientation towards design and shaking off the pervasive crafts tradition centred on workmanship. From 1991 Dorothea Prühl was head of the Burg Giebichenstein Institute for Art and Design and from 1994 she held the chair in jewellery there until she retired in 2002. Apart from her œuvre, she has, therefore, personally exerted a formative influence on what has been happening in jewellery in Germany.
Works by Dorothea Prühl are owned by numerous important museums and collections all over the world. In recent years, the artist has devoted herself exclusively to neck jewellery, which, as she puts it herself, is “jewellery par excellence”. In close collaboration with Dorothea Prühl, ARNOLDSCHE Art Publishers have brought out COLLIERS | NECKLACES, edited by Florian Hufnagl, in which Dorothea Prühl’s most important pieces of neck jewellery are assembled in illustrations in large formats. Renate Luckner-Bien, who has been on close terms with Dorothea Prühl’s work for years, wrote the explanatory text.
A book in a format commensurate with its importance on the work of a leading exponent of contemporary art jewellery.