Jewelery art: 30 years of gallery Biró – Munich

For 30 years, Olga Zobel Biró has been committed to contemporary jewelery art with irresistible charm and sparkling temperament. Your gallery has long been an internationally renowned institution. Nevertheless, it wants to be sought out and discovered again and again. The small showroom is pleasantly overshadowed by tall trees in front of the brick wall of the old northern cemetery, not far from the art academy, the museum area and the busy streets of Maxvorstadt. At the same time, the gallery keeps its distance from everything that could distract from what the Greeks once called “cosmos”: jewellery!

Narrow and vertical, the shop sign tells of the beginnings: Galerie Biró Kunststoff Schmuck. In 1992 that was a courageous signal. Olga Zobel was the first in this country to specialize in works exclusively made of plastic. She had received suggestions in the Netherlands. Meeting the artist Paul Derrez, who founded Galerie Ra in Amsterdam in 1976, and the designer Gijs Bakker were groundbreaking. At the end of the 1960s, some artists in Munich had already rebelled against the polished art of jewelery using acrylic glass. Building on the bright color fields of concrete art and pop art, Hubertus von Scal, Hermann Jiinger and Gerd Rothmann showed what contemporaneity can mean in jewellery. As early as 1971 there was a study workshop for plastics at the Academy of Fine Arts, set up and run by the sculptress Bussi Buhs. From the very beginning, Buhs has supported the work of the gallery with his own works.

Each unique piece tells its own story

Already in the second year, Olga Zobel established her claim to be avant-garde with the exhibition “Plastics – Art – Jewelery 1923 – 1993”. The bracelets and brooches of the Scotsman Peter Chang, for whom Olga Zobel soon organized a solo exhibition, caught the eye in a beguiling and disturbingly flamboyant way. For a long time she remained his only representative in Europe.

Today, Galerie Biró operates as a gallery for author’s jewelery and thus uses a term coined in Munich for body-related artefacts that lie solely in the skilled hands of the artists, from the idea to the final production. When we talk about authorship, it also means that each unique piece tells its own story, is poetic or even makes a political statement. The choice of a speaking material is essential.

One of her teachers was a shaman researcher

Olga Zobel has not changed anything in the showroom itself. The facility, which she put together with friends and freshly painted after each exhibition, has been working for thirty years. Small, well-lit proscenium stages present the works at eye level so that a direct dialogue can develop. “I’m interested in jewelry because I’m interested in people,” says the ethnologist. One of her teachers was a shaman researcher. So she knows the power that jewelry can have. For her, jewelery is not a luxury, but has been part of being human for more than 70,000 years.

Art is important, especially in times of crisis. Jewelry expresses love and respect. That’s why in 1996 Olga Zobel, accompanied by Karl Fritsch, set out for the devastated city of Sarajevo, with an exquisite selection of Munich designer jewelery in her sports bag. The gallery owner, who has curated many museum exhibitions, counts the exhibition there and the catalogue, to which the Bosnian writer Dževad Karahasan wrote a touching essay about the “Inner Truth”, as one of the most important works in her life. It was, as she says, alluding to the Karahasan story, “a kiss on the hand of solidarity” for a deeply wounded multicultural and multiethnic European city.

On the thirtieth anniversary of its founding, the cultural department of the city of Munich, which can certainly see itself as the center of author jewelry, made an exhibition space available to the Biró gallery on Rindermarkt. During the jewelry week, daughter Kinga Zobel, who is using new formats to attract a younger audience, will be presenting pieces by artists who have been accompanying the gallery in its development for a long time. In the small gallery itself, Olga Zobel is showing carved rings by Yutaka Minegishi in dialogue with works by the Japanese doyen Shinji Nakaba, who subtly knows how to bend cola cans into chrysanthemum blossoms – the emblem of the Japanese emperors, the coat of arms of every Japanese passport and a symbol for joy, intelligence and energy. These are precisely the qualities that characterize the tireless ambassador for jewelery art.

Galerie Biro, Zieblandstraße 19, during the jewelry week, Thurs-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m., anniversary exhibition in the area of ​​Kreativmuenchen, Rindermarkt 4. Tues-Fri. 11-18, Sat. 11-16. The entire program and further information: such as

source site