Comprised of two groups of work, Vanity Vague features bracelets and rings, sculptures for the body that can be described as constructions between surface and free form, which at the same time arch into space and into a form that clings to the body. Inspired by artistic approaches that follow, continue and develop the tradition of the classical modern concept of sculpture, their curves also pay homage to the Art Nouveau. Simple manipulations of circular forms with various incisions, voluminous objects are created, which only develop their decorative function in the context of the human body.
Secondly, we find Zimmermann bringing new context to a theme she has been visiting over the years. The "picture in a jewelry piece" returns- this time as abstract depictions of heads with earrings.
Mise en abyme, a picture within a picture- or a picture that contains itself, a popular vanitas motif of the Baroque and Romantic periods, manifests itself in Zimmermann's earrings. The wearer of the jewelry becomes the initial image and thus part of the work. In the exhibition installation, a grey silhouette of a head in the sense of an anonymous profile picture takes over this function.
Petra Zimmermann’s jewelry objects are forthright, sensuous, and opulent. Her early works already reveal an artistic strategy she has continued to pursue ever since: an allusive confrontation of provided material and individually designed plastic forms.
However, the objects produced in this way avail of more than just their decorative function; Zimmermann’s works are far more “thought impulses” bringing up aesthetic questions of appeal, value and the transitoriness of beauty. They impress as subtle works of art that cause the conventional barriers between design, the applied arts and fine arts to falter….
From the exhibition text: Jewelry, Petra Zimmermann, MAK Vienna
Petra Zimmermann, born in Graz in 1975, studied sculpture at the Vienna University of Applied Arts. She lives and works in Vienna.
Vanity Vague is Petra Zimmermann's 4th exhibition with Ornamentum.