The German Goldsmiths’ House Hanau presents the exhibition Friedrich Becker – Born to Play. Friedrich Becker (1922–1997) was one of the outstanding artist personalities on the jewelry scene in the latter half of the 20th century. Invisible settings containing interchangeable stones, variable pin jewelry, and stainless steel combined with synthetic precious stones took care of a new aesthetic in jewelry. His delight in playing with movement resulted in the realization of kinetics in large and small format.
May 25, 2022 would have been Friedrich Becker’s 100th birthday. The jubilee exhibition at the Goldsmiths’ House presents the extensive oeuvre of this goldsmith and kinetic artist with around 120 exhibits and numerous media terminals.
Beginning with early works and classic silver utensils, the exhibition draws an arc from material purism and new materials via variable and kinetic jewelry to the documentation of large kinetic objects. The Wellenkinetik (1990), a permanent installation at the Goldsmiths’ House, rotates in the stairwell and is an impressive specimen of Friedrich Becker’s space-consuming works.
A major part of the jewelry and objects only unfolds its full potential in movement. Individual physical stimuli are translated: wearing Becker’s jewelry is always a particular adventure. For the exhibition, thanks to the experiences of Michael Berger, for many years an employee in the Becker workshop and himself a kinetic jewelry artist, a special presentation has been developed for the kinetic exhibits. This enables visitors to activate a large number of the jewelry items and to comprehend the wearing momentum in the exhibition.
A host of photos, documents, sketches, and videos shows the contexts and creative processes of the works. Interviews with companions and former students additionally make the artist Friedrich Becker approachable.
Works by the holders of the Friedrich Becker Award Düsseldorf and a selection of works by students—Michael Berger, Hans Hermann Lingenbrinck, Barbara Schulte-Hengesbach, Günter Wermekes—impressively demonstrate the enduring influence of his creativity.
The holders of the Friedrich Becker Award Düsseldorf, which was endowed by Hildegard Becker in 1999 and is handed over by the Association for Goldsmiths’ Art, play an integral role in the exhibition. The next award-winner will be distinguished in May 2023.