The jewellery artist Konrad Mehus has held an important position in Norwegian art since the end of the 1960s. Artistic intention and content play a more important role in his work than practical usage and function. Mehus’ objects significantly stretch our notion of what jewellery can be: it is not merely adornment, but rather a means of communication. Using silver as a material and jewellery as a medium, he tells stories with social relevance and political wit.
The work of Konrad Mehus is characterised by a language rich in metaphors and symbols. Miniature portraits of typical 1950s interiors not only invoke memories, but also represent the reconstruction of the post-war era and the improvement of general living conditions – a central concern of Norwegian welfare politics. Konrad Mehus’ works are characterised by humour and warmth, but also by irony and taking an objective stance. He is concerned with commentating contemporary topics and trends. One example of this is using gilded valium packets to represent the increase of psychological illnesses in society.
The use of silver for such banal motifs as a pill packet is just as unusual in jewellery art as relating one’s own personal story. Konrad Mehus thereby combines art, everyday life and life in general, creating connections that are brought to the fore by wearing the jewellery that animates his stories and by displaying them within very varied social contexts.
The first monography of the groundbreaking Norwegian jewellery artist Konrad Mehus, who translates daily social and political themes into narrative jewellery objects in an ironic and subtle way.
Realised with the financial support of
the Norwegian Ministery of Foreign Affairs,
the Norsk Kulturråd
and the Fritt Ord Foundation