Norman Weber from Kaufbeuren-Neugablonz is the recipient of the Friedrich Becker Prize Düsseldorf 2023
Since 1999, with the awarding of the Friedrich Becker Prize, worth 10,000 Euro and endowed in Düsseldorf by Hildegard Becker (1928-2018), the Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedekunst e. V. commemorates the prominent goldsmith and designer of kinetic objects Professor Friedrich Becker (1922-1997). 129 artists from 21 countries competed for the prize with jewelry and small utensils.
The jury – Schnuppe von Gwinner, art historian, author, Leipzig; Dr. Olaf Thormann, Direktor GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig; Silvia Weidenbach, jewelry artist, lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art – distinguished Norman Weber from Kaufbeuren-Neugablonz with the Award for his three brooches "Jewel_9, Jewel_22 and Jewel_24" from the years 2021/2022. The pins are 3D-printed in plastic, their subtle colouring is achieved through the application of acrylic paints in delicate pastel tones.
The jury expresses its enthusiasm for Norman Weber's works in its statement. "Virtuality is combined with visionary design and relies entirely on the masterful handling of digital tools. Voluminous spheres, delicately colored fragments and faceted shapes land on dynamic curves. As snapshot-turned-object, sculptural-looking volume is paired with ephemeral lightness, overcomes the boundaries between analog and digital, formulates with bravoura the unutterable ambition of a jewelry designer in our time." (Schnuppe von Gwinner on behalf of the jury).
Following his apprenticeship certification as a gold and silversmith, Norman Weber studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich; he was appointed a master pupil and completed his diploma at the Academy. The artist teaches at the Staatliche Berufsschule für Glas und Schmuck in Kaufbeuren-Neugablonz. His jewelry pieces are represented in monographic and group exhibitions and are found in private and public collections. Norman Weber holds lectures and teaching events and has been acknowledged through numerous distinctions and awards.
Besides the award-winner's works, further entries by 42 artists picked by the jury will be on show in the two exhibitions, Stadtmuseum Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf (May 6 through 30, 2023) and Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus Hanau (June 6 through July 9, 2023). Japanese artist Jiro Kamata from Munich plays with a display of colors in his candlestick "Holon Candleholder" with its countless incorporated camera lenses. Sungho Cho from South Korea has experimented with casting tree bark in his silver dish "Collection of Time of Trees". Isabelle Enders from Nuremberg is committed to the designing of pepper grinders: her "unicorn" pepper grinders made of copper, stainless steel, and gold-plated silver make peppering a meal with a single grain a moment of real enjoyment. The extensive throat adornment "EBISU" by Svenja John from Berlin is produced out of the tiniest links of Makrofol and nylon finely pigmented with acrylic paint. Susanne Hammer from Vienna, by contrast, demonstrates absolute reduction in shape and color in her "Tube Necklace". Veronika Fabian, from Hungary, in her tattooed, brass jewelry adornment "TR1506LA553-3178", is occupied with wholly idiosyncratic handling of chain links. In the brooch "KAS FP-01s" by Michael Berger in Düsseldorf, the handling of fine elements of dichroic glass set in motion by micro-ball bearings is at the forefront. With Zhipeng Wang from China, the focus is on the use of natural materials such as Chinese tea: in his brooch "The Tea Road Brick", a block of tea is cast in stainless steel. In the voluminous pendants by the Idar-Oberstein based Spaniard Edu Tarin, attention is directed toward CNC-turned jasper, hematite, or turquoise; Julia Kumar from Estonia, too, in her three brooches "Tuning In", "Ordinary Days" and "You Never Said It Was Easy", is devoted to the highly intricate polishing of citrine and rose and smoky quartz.
The Friedrich Becker Award Düsseldorf is handed out every three years by the Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedekunst e. V. for outstanding independent design of utmost execution at quality. The previous award-winners were: Rudolf Bott (1999), Anette Walz (2002), Peter Bauhuis (2005), Robert Baines (2008), Alexander Vohswinkel (2011), Sam Tho Dong (2014), Michael Becker (2017) and Junwon Jung (2020).
Veronika Fabian, Tim Udvardi-Lakos, Mauro Sette, Annelies Planteijdt, Yurika Kuwabara, Peter Machata, Jiro Kamata, Susanne Hammer, Carola Kosche, Julia Funk, Rainer Milewski, Sungho Cho, Margit Jäschke, Mari Ishikawa, Isabelle Enders, Nicole Beck, Christopher Thompson Royds, Christine Matthias, Qiang Li, Johannes Kuhnen, Anna Gordon, Johanna Sophie Hess,Nikita Kavryzhkin, Edu Tarin, Svenja John, Norman Weber, Silke Trekel, Silke Spitzer, Gian Luca Bartellone, Claudio Pino, Vivi Touloumidi, Jason Thomson, Zhipeng Wang, Ryungjae Jung, Michael Berger, Sonia Pibernat Belmonte, Max Warren, Xinyi Chen, Andrew Lamb, Jiayi Zhang, Margot Reuter, Jiun-You Ou, Julia Maria Künnap, Wenjing Jiang