German-born artist Iris Eichenberg received her training as a jewelry artist at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After her graduation−with a series of work for which she was awarded the Gerrit Rietveld Prize 1994, she taught in the jewelry department for several years, to become Head of Department in 2000. In 2007, she additionally accepted a position as Artist-in-Residence/Head of the Metals Department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and moved permanently to the US a year later. Eichenberg has been leading the Metals Department at CAA into new directions, turning it into a research lab where students learn to give expression to their ideas through the rigorous exploration of a wide range of materials and techniques.
Eichenberg’s own work, extending from directly body-related objects and jewelry to multiples, serial work, and installations, has been shown worldwide, at, among others, Ornamentum Gallery, Hudson, NY, Cranbrook Museum of Art, Gallery Louise Smit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Design Miami, SOFA Chicago, Sungkok Art Museum Seoul, Korea, Coda Museum, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
Her work has been purchased by, and been added to the collections of, among others, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, and the Rotasa Foundation, Mill Valley, CA.
An extraordinary ambassador of her field and its innovation, Eichenberg travels the world giving lectures on her work, and has taught workshops at renowned art schools and programs, such as Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden, the Hong Kong Institute of Vocation Education, and the Hiko Mizuno College in Tokyo, Japan.
Not necessarily beautiful ornaments, Eichenberg’s works present a unique mode of occasionally disconcerting beauty. Mixing high-tech procedures with traditional forms of craft, some series explore the interdependence of the senses, blurring the boundaries between body and adornment, to foreground the object as experience. Others use archetypical objects and familiar forms, to give expression to the most profound and intense feelings.