About the exhibition
Hollow goose eggs, natural sponges, packaging and balloons with a smiley face – soles of shoes, scientific measuring instruments and his mother’s gallstones: For Norwegian artist Sigurd Bronger, the repertoire of things elevated to jewelry objects knows no bounds. The items are rendered wearable through the artful mechanisms on which they are mounted and hung. In their meticulous precision, the brass and gold mechanisms are reminiscent of scientific instruments, and like such instruments, Bronger’s objects fit snugly into their specially made wooden cases. The artist himself does not call his works jewelry, nor brooches, finger or necklaces, but simply ‘wearable objects’. The artful mechanisms that make them wearable objectivize the reception of the items, lifting them out of their everyday implications, and making it possible for us to view them aesthetically and in so doing discover an entirely unexpected beauty. Objects are existent manifestations of the material world on which our perception is focused. We want to recognize what we see, which is precisely Bronger’s starting point. He utilizes items for his jewelry objects that we would not otherwise touch, much less pin to our clothing as a decorative element. Once we recognize what we are actually looking at, the initial moment of shock when identifying the sole of a shoe or camel dung, which takes center stage in a brooch, charmingly resolves into an instant of tongue-in-cheek delight that is so characteristic of some of Bronger’s works. Thanks to his inquisitiveness and his way of looking at things, our own world of objects expands many times over – the ball from the computer mouse becomes a ring, the precious diamond in the medicinal blister packaging a brooch, with the disposable packaging however catching the eye more strongly than the gemstone.
Born in 1957 in Norway’s capital Oslo, for one year Sigurd Bronger attended the Oslo Vocational College specializing in Jewelry before choosing to pursue further studies in watchmaking and goldsmithing at the Vocational School in Schoonhoven, Netherlands, graduating in 1979. Following his studies he worked as an engraver in the Koninklijke Fabrieken Posthumus in Amsterdam, founded in 1920. In 1983 he returned to Oslo, where he has since lived and worked. In 2009, Die Neue Sammlung invited Sigurd Bronger to give a lecture on his work in the series “All about me”. Two years later, the museum acquired the “Camay Necklace”, which he made in 2005, in its collections. It is Bronger’s only piece in a German museum, while museums and private collections in the Netherlands, America and Asia hold his art in exceptionally high esteem. In 2016, he was awarded the Bavarian State Prize for his piece “Carrying device for a Nautilus”. The exhibits on display have accordingly been provided on loan to us from all over the world, with the loaners hailing from Austria, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Thailand, and the United States. Die Neue Sammlung is honored to present the work of Sigurd Bronger, whose artistic language is unique not only in Norway, but worldwide, in his first solo exhibition outside his home country.
With kind support of the Danner-Stiftung and in cooperation with Norwegian Crafts, Oslo