Otto Künzli (1948) is born in Switzerland and trained as a goldsmith in Munich, Germany. He revolutionised modern jewelry design and is regarded as ‘one of the most intelligent and at the same time most critical artists in the world of jewelry’ (Ralph Turner: The New Jewelry, 1985/1994).
Over the course of his involvement with jewelry, spanning around 45 years, Otto Künzli achieved a unique status as an artist and pioneer, and also as an author and teacher, with widespread international influence. Renowned artists such as Karen Pontoppidan (Konstfack, Stockholm), Karl Fritsch (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology), David Bielander and Lisa Walker are amongst the graduates of the jewelry class at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, which Künzli has been directing since 1991 as successor to Hermann Jünger. He has been a major influence in international jewelry work, especially during the 1980s and 1990s, and is well known for his use of social commentary and his unique approach to jewelry making.His work is meticulously crafted, with studious attention to materials, and it is the intensity of this working process that provides each work with a powerful message.
Work in Public Collections (selection): Powerhouse Museum Sydney, Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, Victoria and Albert Museum London. Awards : 1990, Françoise van den Bosch Award; 1992, Honorary Fellow of Bezalel Academy Jerusalem, Israel.