Tag: Tore Svensson


When I worked with this project I only choose artist, art or design I like myself. I did not always feel comfortable when I used another artist work for my brooches, but I always tried to make something own out of it.   It is more a tribute to this artist than making a copy of their art.  My project develops more like that than giving an answer of what is allowed to do or not.>>

TORE SVENSSON, Artist statement on “COVERS”

Tore Svensson, Brooch: Octagon (Mary Corse), 2018 – Steel, paint – 6.5 x 9 x 0.15 cm.
Photo by: Franz Karl.

In past times, the artistic apprenticeship followed precise rules rigorously observed by the young pupils who entered the workshop of a master. In a workshop, young pupils learned not only how to prepare a panel, but also the different artistic techniques. They acquired how to trace the lines, how to perceive perspective and how to recreate it. And, above all, pupils had to copy because “to copy” meant “to learn”.[1]  They copied the works of their own master and other’s works in order to “feel” space and volutes, depth and curves, volumes and surfaces.[2]

So, the reproduction of other’s works was a method to acquire the know-how, the skills and the artistic techniques able to make prosperous the activity of a workshop. Of course, there were also examples of “unoriginal” works copied without permission, such as Marcantonio Raimondi’s woodcuts, who reproduced without permission the entire Dürer’s woodcut series of the Life of the Virgin (and his signature) with a great success.[3]

The use of elements of a single artist reproduced in others’ works enabled the community of art historian to speak about “filiation” such as an “artistic loan” able to retrace and to detect the formal as well the aesthetical models employed in several works of art. This study is extremely helpful in order to recreate the chronology of the works of a single artist due to the lack of documentation.[4]

Very different is the case of a copy “d’après”, that is when a well-known work of art is reproduced by an artist whit the clear decontextualization of the subject, such as, for example, the portrait of Madame Récamier by Marcel Duchamp or “Las Meninas” by Picasso. In both circumstances, Duchamp and Picasso re-elaborate other’s works in order to impress not only their own “signature” but also their own vision and style.[5]

Tore Svensson, Brooch: Yellow (Miró), 2019 – Porcelain (from ENSA, Limoges), silver – 8.5 x 8 x 0.4 cm.
Photo by: Franz Karl.

[1] As regards the concept of learning by copying see: Virdis Limentani, C., Copiare, citare, imitare forse inDürer …da Dürer. L’arte in viaggio attraverso l’Europa, catalogue of the exhibition curated by di G. Gallina e S. Seccareccia with the contribution of Caterina Limentani Virdis, San Donato Milanese, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea “Cascina Roma”, 27 novembre 1999 – 30 gennaio 2000, Milano 1999.

See also: Cennino Cennini, Il Libro dell’arte, a cura di Fabio Frezzato, Vicenza, Neri Pozza, 2003, p.65.

[2] For apprenticeship during Middle-Ages and Renaissance see: Cassanelli R.- Béguin et aliii, S., La bottega dell’artista tra Medioevo e Rinascimento, Milano, Jaca Book, 1998. Further readings on experiences, sources and documents as regards the Italian Quattrocento see: Baxandall M., Painting and experience in Fifteenth Century Italy, Oxford University Press, 1972 (tr.it, Baxandall M., Pittura ed esperienze sociali nell’Italia del Quattrocento, Torino, Einaudi, 1978 e 2001) and Gilbert, C.E., Italian Art 1400-1500: sources and documents, Prentice-Hall, 1980 (tr.it. Gilbert, C.E., L’arte del Quattrocento nelle testimonianze coeve, IRSA 1988).

As an example, in Lucas Cranach’s workshop the hand of the master is extremely difficult to detect from the one of the apprentices, due to mastered technique acquired by the pupils. As regards see: Messling G., Cranach et son temps, catalogue of the exhibition “L’Univers de Lucas Cranach”, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, 20 Dec 2010 – 21 Jan 2011, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris 2011.

The western art history is full of examples provided by works of gifted pupils whose hand was extremely similar to the one of their Master: Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio and Leonardo, see Ballarin A., Leonardo a Milano: problemi di leonardismo Milanese tra Quattro e Cinquecento: Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio prima della Pala Casio, 4 volls., Verona, Edizioni dell’Aurora 2010;  the sons of Pieter Bruegel the Elder who duplicated the subject if his father, see Currie Ch. – Allart D., The Brueghel Phenomenon: paintings by Pieter Brueghel The Elder and Pieter Brueghel The Younger with a special focus on technique and copying practice, 3 volls., Brussels, Royal Institute of Cultural Heritage, 2012; up to  the case of Van Meegeren’s false Vermeer, as regards see: Godley, J., The story of Han Van Meegeren, London, Home & Van Thal, 1951 and Kreuger, F. H., Han van Meegeren revisisted, his art & a list of his works, Rijswijck, Quantes Publishers, 2010.

[3] GIORGIO VASARI, Vita di Marcantonio Bolognese ed altri intagliatori in “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a’ tempi nostri” (1568),2 volls., Torino, Einaudi 2005.

[4] For the influences among painters see: Baxandall, M., Patterns of Intention. On the historical explanation of pictures, New Haven & London, Yale Univeristy Press, 1995 (tr.it. BAXANDALL, M., Forme dell’intenzione. Sulla spiegazione storica delle opere d’arte, Torino Einaudi, 2000, pp.88-92.

[5] As regards see: “D’Après. Omaggi e dissacrazioni nell’arte contemporanea”, exhbition catalogue, Lugano 1971.

A presto,


THE ALCHEMICAL EGG | Visions and revelations of an enigma

Madiba said once “It seems impossible, until it’s done”.

Glad to share with you the news of my last Curatorial project at Hannah Gallery By Klimt02 in Barcelona.

My deep gratitude goes to the Artists involved, to the Gallerists and to JOYA BARCELONA International Art Jewelry Fair.


See you in Barcelona!

From 4th October until 10th November 2017  


Twelve pieces, four artists, three colours and One Great Opus: this is The Alchemical Egg, an exhibition investigating the three stages of alchemical knowledge, interpreted by two goldsmiths and two enamellers, curated by Nichka Marobin, organized in collaboration with Hannah Gallery by Klimt02 and Joya Barcelona International Art Jewellery Fair.
Coming across the alchemical egg is gliding into the Arcana Artis, following the egg is diving into the Great Opus.The study of Ars Magna, practiced throughout Europe, Egypt and Asia, arrived in Western Europe by the translation of an Arabian manuscript and, from that moment, as an underground river, the interest for this philosophical knowledge and practice never faded.
A search of knowledge, a millennial tradition, a proto-science, a discovery of the self; a quest of immortality through the creation and discovery of the Philosophical stone and the transmutation of the matter; an embryonic stage of chemistry: a discipline considered so obscure to be practiced in secret; a sort of witchcraft and one of the key for the recognition of the self, according to Jung: these are only few of the aspects related to Alchemy.Chēmeía, this was the ancient Greek term for “alloying”, was allegedly considered as the practice for the transmutation of metals in gold, but the final aim was reaching knowledge, gnosis, in complete harmonious union with Nature. The study of Alchemy, through its three stages of knowledge and the concoction of elements, transmuted the matter using fire as the main media of transition: we focused on these passages to enlighten the works of the four contemporary jewellers called to showcase their own quest of the philosopher’s stone.By following the three stages of nigredo, albedo and rubedo, we wanted to set in our contemporaneity the alchemical cognitive path through the use of fire, metals and enamels in order to see how the Artists’ intervention changes the status of the matter by concocting, dissolving, separating, distilling, purifying, fixing.  This interpolation, made by the Artists-Alchemists, tends in one hand to pulverize Time, but, on the other hand, to fix it in a tangible piece.

How does humankind (and Artists in particular) gain a growing intervention in matter? And this intervention on the inner nature of the matter made by the Artist/Alchemist could be contemplated as an intervention on temporality? Does the Alchemist (and the Artist in our case) want to replace Time? And this concept of pulverization of Time is not an anticipation of what is the essential ideology of the modern world? Do we have Homo Faber first or the Alchemist?

All our questions are hints of something that we cannot seize entirely, as it happens for the works of Jheronymus Bosch. Everything related to him seems to be an enigma: the visions, the hells, the delights; the monsters, the men; his life emerges from the very few records found in historical archives, able to trace his movements; his works are always in discussion, both under the aspect of chronology, or under the aspect of the attribution; his oeuvres, again, never cease to emanate their spell and their fascination and we still do not know how it was that a King like Philip II of Spain loved Bosch’s paintings so much to collect them in large number.

That obscure secrecy, painted in veils of light and shadow, almost clear to be described, but far away to be easily decoded, has been clarified along the years through some reading keys, and the strict order of his triptychs has been revealed, even if in all the scenes a center seems always being lacking.

Many have been the aspects that influenced Bosch’s oeuvre, but the most intriguing one, according to us, was the one related to Alchemy.  Bosch disseminated his works of eggs, shells, spheres: through a forest of symbols, these elements seem to be related to Alchemy and the emblem of the egg, considered as the Alchemical vessel, emerges from the panels.

Thus, the Alchemical Egg is the beginning – ab ovo – and the end of our journey, recalling the circularity of time and matter.

Nichka Marobin, Exhibition Curator
Amador Bertomeu and Leo Caballero, Gallerists

A presto!