Exhibition with Sophie Hanagarth, Bettina Dittlmann and Michael Jank

March 29 – May 5, 2019

Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h is gathering, in a single exhibition, artists Sophie Hanagarth, Bettina Dittlmann and Michael Jank, three makers whose work focuses on the same material: iron. Unveiling their original and distinctive concepts work, the exhibition Le fer noir trio will be presented from March 29th to May 5th.

Sophie Hanagarth, originally from Switzerland, has been living and working in Paris for about fifteen years. After being initially introduced to jewellery through an apprenticeship with Lausanne based goldsmith Pierre Bersier, she completed studies at the École Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués in Geneva, in 1995. Already in the late 90s, Hanagarth’s work started to get noticed, especially her series Family Jewels, which laid the groundwork for her current practice with its symbolism, surrealism and humour. She teaches at the Paris jewellery school AFEDAP since 2000, and she also acts as the co-chair of the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg, since 2002. She was granted with the prestigious Herbert Hofmann award in 2011, and with the Francoise van den Bosch award in 2014.


From left to right : Ornemental ou la vie intime des annélides, iron forged bracelet, Traquenard, iron forged bracelet, Lipstick, ring in stainless steel

For the past fifteen years, Hanagarth has developed a strong interest for iron and, simultaneously, for forging and blacksmithing. An exceptionally strong and rigid material in its final stage, iron is extremely flexible and soft when being hot worked by the blacksmith, and thus can be shaped using soft lines, like those usually achieved with clay. Hanagarth exploits this tactile and visual tension, and makes it her signature. In the exhibition Le fer noir trio, she presents new variations from the series she has been developing over the past few years: Traquenard, Lipstick and Ornemental ou la vie intime des annélides. Recurring in her work is the opposition between ornament and constraint, between softness and hardness. Whether referencing a parasite, a trap or a mouth, all of her pieces seem to be devouring the wearer’s body.

Bettina Dittlmann lives and works in her native Germany. After completing a goldsmithing apprenticeship in Neugablonz, she joined the prestigious Kunstakademie in Munich, where she studied under Hermann Jünger until 1989. She then came to America to complete a master’s degree at SUNY New Paltz, in New York State, before returning to the Kustakademie to complete her diploma, in 1993, under Otto Künzli’s supervision. Having moved her studio between the United States and Europe on several occasions, she is now settled in Breitenbach, in Western Germany, since 2008.


Brooches Black Flower in iron, fire scale, magnet

Well known for her enamelled iron wire brooches, Bettina is presenting new work made with iron mill scale, which consists of ferrous oxides that form onto iron when heated and forged. Coupling this material with rare earth magnets, she takes advantage of physical laws in order to determine the orientation and organisation of each element of the piece. Through the power of magnetic fields, Dittlmann metaphorically represents the social and political turbulence in which we all evolve, constrained by invisible and uncontrollable forces. Arranged concentrically by the magnet’s force, like flowers, Bettina Dittlmann’s brooches express turmoil, change and the ephemeral aspect of life.


Since 1998, Bettina Dittlmann and Michael Jank work together on a series called Foreverrings. Also from Germany, designer and visual artist Michael Jank worked alongside Bettina Dittlmann during his studies at the State University of Oregon, where she was teaching. They thus developed the series together, each fabricating their pieces in the same way, forging directly into fine silver, copper, iron or fine gold. Using no solder or finishing whatsoever, the resulting rings let metal speak for itself, in its purest expression. Covered in natural oxides and tool marks, their rings are massive, rough and powerful. New variations of this series will be unveiled in the exhibition Le fer noir trio.


The exhibition will be presented from March 29thto May 5th

The opening reception will be held on March 29th, from 5-8 pm, in the presence of the artists


For further information:

Noel Guyomarc’h: info@galerienoelguyomarch.com