Brooch thumbnail 1
Brooch thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Brooch

1992 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This piece is part of the Royal College of Art Visiting Artists Collection. Every year from 1987 to 2006, while David Watkins was Professor of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at the RCA, he invited four jewellers and silversmiths from outside Britain to give a week-long masterclass. The artists brought diverse skills, aesthetics and approaches. The first call on their time was to interact closely with the students. In addition, although concentrating on their teaching and working in an unfamiliar studio, each artist generously made an object for the RCA's collection. The Royal College of Art Visiting Artists Collection, now transferred to the V&A, is a major document of international contemporary jewellery, a tribute both to the artists and to the vibrancy of the RCA as a teaching institution.

In common with artists working across a wide range of media, jewellers may set out to convey or provoke human emotions. Their work reaches beyond the figurative to the philosophical. Eyes, fingers, lips and other fragments of the human body were used as metaphors for personal and political concerns, from the meaning of life to world events. Bruno Martinazzi (1923-2018) had studied chemistry and later psychology, before becoming a jeweller and sculptor. He moved easily from the miniature form to the monumental and vice versa.

The eye, a window to the soul, is a motif Martinazzi has turned to repeatedly throughout his work with varying interpretations. The brooch with eye in the V&A belongs to the ‘Energy Series’. These were inspired by his meeting with Professor Sydney Leach, at the University of Paris in the late seventies after which he became interested in laser energy. Leach was researching the laser effect and spectrum of radiation from stars millions of light years away. A remark from Bruno Martinazzi sums up the meaning behind the brooch and its engraved symbols zero to one: ‘what fascinated me was the way energy went from zero level to level one. This leap was fantastic; zero is absolutely nothing, one, on the other hand is everything, the beginning of everything’ (Carla Gallo Barbisio, Bruno Martinazzi, Schmuck – Gioelli – Jewellery, Stuttgart 1997, p. 109)


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold
Brief Description
Gold brooch. Designed and made by Bruno Martinazzi (1923-2018) while leading a masterclass at the RCA, London, 1991-92.
Physical Description
Rectangular brooch with a single undulation running diagonally across the centre, and within it a stylized eye. To the left is engraved 'E' and 'O' and an arrow pointing diagonally upwards; to the right is a '1' and a downward diagonal arrow.
Dimensions
  • Height: 3.2cm
  • Width: 6.7cm
  • Depth: 0.7cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'MARTINAZZI' (scratch signature)
Credit line
Royal College of Art Visiting Artists Collection
Production
Made while leading a masterclass at the RCA
Subject depicted
Summary
This piece is part of the Royal College of Art Visiting Artists Collection. Every year from 1987 to 2006, while David Watkins was Professor of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at the RCA, he invited four jewellers and silversmiths from outside Britain to give a week-long masterclass. The artists brought diverse skills, aesthetics and approaches. The first call on their time was to interact closely with the students. In addition, although concentrating on their teaching and working in an unfamiliar studio, each artist generously made an object for the RCA's collection. The Royal College of Art Visiting Artists Collection, now transferred to the V&A, is a major document of international contemporary jewellery, a tribute both to the artists and to the vibrancy of the RCA as a teaching institution.



In common with artists working across a wide range of media, jewellers may set out to convey or provoke human emotions. Their work reaches beyond the figurative to the philosophical. Eyes, fingers, lips and other fragments of the human body were used as metaphors for personal and political concerns, from the meaning of life to world events. Bruno Martinazzi (1923-2018) had studied chemistry and later psychology, before becoming a jeweller and sculptor. He moved easily from the miniature form to the monumental and vice versa.



The eye, a window to the soul, is a motif Martinazzi has turned to repeatedly throughout his work with varying interpretations. The brooch with eye in the V&A belongs to the ‘Energy Series’. These were inspired by his meeting with Professor Sydney Leach, at the University of Paris in the late seventies after which he became interested in laser energy. Leach was researching the laser effect and spectrum of radiation from stars millions of light years away. A remark from Bruno Martinazzi sums up the meaning behind the brooch and its engraved symbols zero to one: ‘what fascinated me was the way energy went from zero level to level one. This leap was fantastic; zero is absolutely nothing, one, on the other hand is everything, the beginning of everything’ (Carla Gallo Barbisio, Bruno Martinazzi, Schmuck – Gioelli – Jewellery, Stuttgart 1997, p. 109)
Bibliographic References
  • Graham Hughes, Modern Jewelry, An International Survey 1890 - 1963, London 1961
  • Peter Dormer/Ralph Turner, the new jewelry trends + traditions, London 1985 (Revised edition 1994)
  • Barbara Cartlidge, Twentieth Century Jewelry, New York 1985
  • David Watkins, The Best in Contemporary Jewellery, London 1993
  • Helen W. Drutt English/ Peter Dormer, Jewelry of our time, London 1995
  • Fritz Falk/ Cornelie Holzach, Schmuck der Moderne, Modern Jewellery 1960-1998, Stuttgart 1999
  • The Ego Adorned, 20th Century Artist Jewellery, Antwerp 2000
  • ornament as art, Avant-garde jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Stuttgart 2007
  • Carla Gallo Barbisio, Bruno Martinazzi, Schmuck - Gioelli - Jewellery, Stuttgart 1997
  • Ellen Maurer Zilioli, Bruno Martinazzi, L'oro e la pietra, Stuttgart 2007
Collection
Accession Number
M.33-2007

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record createdFebruary 15, 2008
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