Ulrike Kleine-Behnke. Silke Trekel. Material. Form. Schmuck

Sunday, 12. September 2021 - 0:00 to Wednesday, 10. November 2021 - 0:00
Ulrike Kleine-Behnke, Brosche, Silber getrieben, Holz; Silke Trekel, Brosche „Strömung“. Porzellan, Silber, 2017. Fotos: Ulrike Kleine-Behnke/Christoph Sandig

As the series of artist encounters continues, jewelry designers Ulrike Kleine-Behnke and Silke Trekel are set to meet for their exhibition in the Silver Room of the German Goldsmiths’ House from September 12 through November 10, 2021.

Their works are united by a perception of jewelry that is reflected in a boldness for large formats and in their understanding of jewelry as body-related miniature sculpture. Sensitive dealing with form and material is legible in their works. Both artists were influenced by their studies at Burg Giebichenstein, University of Art and Design Halle, in whose tradition their work stands.

For her jewelry with its characteristic clear forms and eschewal of the superfluous, Ulrike Kleine-Behnke likes to use natural materials. As Kleine-Behnke herself describes, hers are small wearable objects that invite diverse and multiple interpretations. The jewelry artist draws on nature and environment as a source of ideas. She is enthused by a particular shape, color or even surface structures, such as those of a piece of wood. Blossoms, leaves, and buds inspired by Nature’s wealth of forms are a recurring theme of her works. The effect exuded by the piece is important to her, not the material’s value. In her view, silver is a perfect complement to other materials. She folds or enchases, casts or mounts the metal. Ulrike Kleine-Behnke allows her light and wearable shapes and volumes to grow in a dynamic process. The Leipzig-born jewelry artist, whose jewelry is also on show at the GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts in Leipzig, lives and works in Dachau.

Silke Trekel’s pieces illustrate both her focus on large shapes, volumes, and plasticity and also her joy in experimenting with materials and techniques. She prefers to create three-dimensional, sculptural forms with an almost architectonic structure. The jewelry artist found her inspiration in contact with far-eastern or western cultures. Influences by the sculptural oeuvre of the minimalist Carl Andre are also evident. The results include various standalone individual pieces made of serial industrial products, such as porcelain slabs. The voluminous works are made wearable by her use of light materials such as balsawood or sheet metal. Titanium, silver, iron, plastic are likewise among her materials. In the balance between simplicity in the large shape and abundant detail, Silke Trekel arrives at a convincing result, at wearable pieces of jewelry that can also be individual sculptural objects. Works by the Rostock-born jewelry artist can be admired at establishments including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (GB) and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York (USA).