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.


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Artist
Bernhard Schobinger, Swiss, born 1946
Title
"Scherben vom Moritzplatz Berlin" Necklace
"Broken Pieces from Moritzplatz Berlin" Necklace
Date
1983–1984
Medium
Antique crystal beads, television bulbs, German Coca-Cola bottle, silver, and steel wire
Dimensions
Overall: 8 × 6 × 1 in. (20.3 × 15.2 × 2.5 cm)
Credit Line

Helen Williams Drutt Collection, museum purchase funded by Gail and Louis K. Adler in honor of Fayez Sarofim

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
2002.4062
Classification
Jewelry & Adornment
Provenance

[Rezac Gallery, Chicago]; acquired by Helen Williams Drutt English; purchased by MFAH, 2002.