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Arts of Europe

The MFAH collections of art created on the European continent encompass artistic styles across the time line of history, from the ancient world to the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era to the 21st century.

© 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ProLitteris, Zürich
Swiss, born 1946
"Scherben vom Moritzplatz Berlin" Necklace
Antique crystal beads, television bulbs, German Coca-Cola bottles, silver, and steel wire

8 x 6 x 10 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of Gail and Louis K. Adler in honor of Fayez Sarofim

Arts of Europe

Constructed from a set of antique crystal beads interspersed with shards of German Coca-Cola bottles and television bulbs, Bernhard Schobinger's "Scherben vom Moritzplatz Berlin" Necklace juxtaposes the past with the present, violence with delicacy. It also offers commentary on Germany's political history and contemporary consumer culture.

According to the artist, the pieces of broken glass were found in Berlin’s Moritzplatz. Located directly in front of the Berlin Wall, Moritzplatz was the favored gathering place of German "Neue Wilden” (New Wilds) artists and punks. In the late 1970s, Schobinger had begun to work with found objects encountered in daily life. For years, he amassed and stored this cultural detritus in his studio until he found uses for the various objects, a process that allowed him to create jewelry with layered and complex meanings. The artistic movements of Dada and Surrealism also played a defining role in shaping Schobinger’s aesthetic. Often his messages came in the form of social criticism; at other times, such as with the "Scherben vom Moritzplatz Berlin" Necklace, they reflected the turbulent political climate of Europe, both past and present.