Petra Zimmermanns jewelry objects are forthright, sensuous, and opulent. Her early works already reveal an artistic
strategy she has continued to pursue ever since: an allusive confrontation of provided material and individually designed
plastic forms. However, the objects produced in this way avail of more than just their decorative function; Zimmermanns
works are far more thought impulses bringing up aesthetic questions of appeal, value and the transitoriness of
beauty. They impress as subtle works of art that cause the conventional barriers between design, the applied arts and fine
arts to falter.
Following on from the series of rings and bracelets she has been producing since 1998, another strand of work has emerged
since 2002, figurative brooches based on cuttings from the print media. While the rings and bracelets are defined by reflections
of glamour associated with jewelry, the brooches meanwhile manifest Zimmermanns interest shifting onto the representation
of the human body in the media. Her most recent works show Zimmermann extending her thematic range with images of design and
architectural objects, also floral motifs.
The exhibition is presenting the first overall survey of the artists oeuvre with around 100 exhibitscreated between
1997 and 2012. Some pieces are being displayed on perforated lacquered plinths designed especially for the exhibitiona
reference to Josef Hoffmanns lattice objects and the tradition of the Wiener Werkstätte.
A section of the exhibition is installed as a Readers Corner, consisting of two armchairs (based on a design
by Frederick J. Kiesler, 1933), and a book shelf with jewelry publications. The selection includes Zimmermann monographs and
exhibition catalogues on international trends in contemporary jewelry from the nineteen-seventies until today that have had
a fundamental formative influence on the concept of Autorenschmuckjewelry as an individually creative artand on
the discourse in this sphere: a chance for the visitor to gain information on a field of contemporary jewelry that is generally
unfamiliar to the public.
Petra Zimmermann, born in Graz in 1975, studied sculpture at the Vienna University of Applied Arts. In 2010 she won the Eligius
Schmuck-Preis (jewelry prize) of the Federal Land of Salzburg, in 2011 the International Cominelli Award. Petra Zimmermann
lives and works in Vienna.
Curator Elisabeth Schmuttermeier, Curator MAK, Metal Collection and Wiener Werkstätte Archive
The holdings of the Metal Collection comprises objects from Europe and North America, dating from the fourteenth century to
the present. From the very beginning, there existed a policy of acquiring contemporary works for the collection as well as
historical objects. The collection covers diverse areas of the applied arts including small-scale sculpture, cutlery, clocks,
jewellery, goldsmiths art, lamps, astronomy devices and electro-plated reproductions.