19.09.2021 – 06.02.2022

Surface Alchemy

Logo Surface Alchemy
Logo Surface Alchemy
Photos: berndgrundmann.com; Graphicdesign: Stillhart Konzept
Metal in all its facets: “Surface Alchemy” [Alchemie der Oberfläche] uses works by three different artists to show how experimental curiosity and a creative approach to materials research can enable metal’s physical limits to be tested and its visual appearance transformed in myriad ways.

Peter Bauhuis, Laurenz Stockner, Anita Tarnutzer

Peter Bauhuis; Anita Tarnutzer

The Munich-based goldsmith and artist Peter Bauhuis (*1965) presents vessels cast from various metal alloys: his unusual technique results in archaic-looking colours and textures. These works bear witness to a willingness to experiment as well as many years of experience. The South Tyrolean artist and metalsmith Laurenz Stockner (*1971) forges bowls from a mixture of “cement copper” (smelted by himself) and iron. He creates the raw material for his vessels using an elaborate process that has been known in his region since antiquity. The Swiss artist and metal caster Anita Tarnutzer (*1977) uses vegetable dyes and natural oxidation processes to finish panels made of bronze and brass. In her work “Quintessenzen” [“Quintessences”], plants such as stinging nettles, sorrel and camomile are used in the dyeing process, leaving a distinctive chemical imprint on the surface of the metal.

Throughout history, a huge range of methods have been used to refine, colour or coat metals for all kinds of reasons. A special presentation entitled “edel unedel”, mounted by Sitterwerk St. Gallen and Bern University of the Arts, provides helpful information about the multiplicity of processes employed, supplemented by the resources of the MATERIAL ARCHIV at the Gewerbemuseum Winterthur.

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