Mit Meinem Daumen Modelliert
(Formed With My Thumbs)
Gerd Rothmann ranks among the living legends of contemporary jewelry. He is long- established as one of the major voices in the field for close to sixty years, with a prolific body of work, both of gold and silver wearables and masterfully smithed vessels for personal, decorative and ceremonial use.
The earliest works in Rothmann's career embody studies of geometry, graphics and the use of non-precious materials such as plastics- expressions true to the period in which they were created. In the late 1970's and early 80's, Rothmann first transferred the imprint of the skin into precious metal, sparking a lifelong study of the emotional and sensual connection between jewelry and the wearer, his trademark use of the fingerprint became the signature for which he is most known.
In his recent works, Rothmann- a passionate lover of art, has gotten more playful in his designs. Explorations of color and movement, often giving nods to Goethe's color theories are found in the elements- often overlapping and spontaneous with varied direction or color, their connections articulated to bring fluidity and movement to the forms. Rings are composed as flowers on the finger, bracelets snake around the arm and necklaces- beautiful and vibrant, radiating its vibrancy as well as the wearer's equally.
His contribution has been no more or less than to introduce the body print into the art of jewellery, as Dorothea Baumer established so clearly in her preface to the monograph about Gerd Rothmann.
The fascinating thing is how many different variations he manages to wrest from this simple approach. Because he’s not primarily concerned with technique or skill, his work has (as always when dealing with true art) far more to do with a second or a third level, in short the numinous, the spiritual. Kandinsky showed this a century ago, just before he went on to paint the first abstract picture....
This is the remarkable art of Gerd Rothmann, who since the mid-‐70s, though always fresh, always different, and always completely individual, has been making the same work over and over again , and yet hasalways continued to surprise us. It seems so simple-‐ but how hard it is to be so simple.
Prof. Dr. Florian Hufnagl, Former executive Director of Collections, Die Neue Sammlung The International Design Museum, Munich.
Excerpted from the speech at the opening of Rothmann’s Retrospective Exhibition in the Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus (the House of German Goldsmiths) Hanau, Sunday, 18th September, 2011
Born in 1941, Gerd Rothmann's works are counted as key pieces in the collections of countless museum collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Arts & Design and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (NYC), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Dallas Museum of Art, MFA Houston and Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and many more.
Gerd Rothmann has exhibited works with Ornamentum since their founding in 2002, in the gallery and at international design fairs. Ornamentum founders Laura Lapachin and Stefan Friedemann proudly wear personalized rings by Rothmann as their wedding bands.