Contemporary jewellery as art, by Gie Luyten

Katja Prins

The DNA of contemporary jewellery


Katja Prins, object

anatorium collection, 2003

glass, sealing wax


I don’t know why, but from the beginning the term DNA came into our vocabulary I’m always been interested in everything that surrounds DNA. I collect photographs, books, magazines, TV-programs, movies, documentaries because they inspire me to make contemporary jewellery. Maybe it refers to the several surgery operations I had to experience in my life. I think that’s the reason one of the first art jewellery designers I admired when I started making jewellery myself was Katja Prins.

Born in 1970, Haarlem, Holland, Katja Prins studied at M.T.S. Vakschool Schoonhoven and Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

In my imagination the first work I saw from her in the year 2K had already to do with surgery and DNA. Maybe it wasn’t the intention of Katja Prins herself at that time, but that’s one meaning or story I had to think about. I found her work full of manipulation of the human being, of materials and forms. It’s one of the important things in her contemporary jewellery that the pieces are opening themselves to the public. They are leading people asking and answering questions about the human being, the different societies on earth and the environment. So I’ll never forget this quote of Katja Prins: “My ambition is that people will discover their own stories through my work, therefore I steer clear of too many explanations and clarifications. Shapes and materials are never unequivocal and one can interpret them in different ways.”

Collections Katja Prins

You can find work of Katja Prins in several important collections, f.i. Nederlands Textielmuseum, Tilburg | Studio GR20, Padova, Italy | Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem | CODA Museum, Apeldoorn | Marzee Collectie, Nijmegen | Glasmuseum Alter Hof Herding, | Amber Centre Gdansk, Poland | Privat collections | Schmuck Museum, Pforzheim, Germany | Mint Museum, Charlotte, USA | Städtische Sammlung Idar-Oberstein, DE.

A few selected exhibitions of Katja Prins

1999 Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Nominatie Designprijs Rotterdam | Stedelijk Museum, AEX Amsterdam Exposé

2003 | Salone de Mobile, Milaan, Dutch Souvenirs EKWC, I | 55th International Trade Fair, Schmuck | Galerie Spektrum, Open Art, Munich, D | HPGRP, Openingsexpositie, Tokyo, Japan

2008 Collect, Victoria&Albert Museum, London, UK | Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Glass Wear, Pforzheim, D | Museum Arts and Design, Glass Wear, New York, USA |

2009 Galerie Rob Koudijs, Nexus, Amsterdam, NL (solo) | Ornamentum Gallery, Nexus, Hudson, NY, US (solo) | 61st International Trade Fair, Schmuck 2009, München, DE | Museum Arts and Design, Glass Wear, New York, US | Philadelphia Art Alliance, Challenging the Chatelaine!, Helen W. Drutt, Philadelphia, US | Künstlerhaus, Challenging the Chatelaine!, Helen W. Drutt, Vienna, AT | Lingam, Stockholm, SE | Op Voorraad, Inside Design Amsterdam, NL

website Katja Prins