January 11, 2014

Helfried Kodre

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The artistic language of Helfried Kodré’s jewellery is recognised by its geometric articulation. He enjoys playing with volumes and the interaction between them. “The cube and the square have been symbols of ideal proportion from time immemorial. In them is reflected the idea of the universe, of permanence and perfection, of regularity and divinity. (..) Throughout the history of philosophy, basic geometric forms have represented the perfect fusion of matter and spirit and the intermingling of space and time, which was an a priori given for Kant. Since the time of Heraclitus, Aristotle and Plato, the process of abstraction has been manifest therein as the sum of man’s knowledge and experience of his ontological condition.” Gallery owner Ellen Maurer-Zilioli has commented on the system of characters in Kodré’s work in the book Helfried Kodré—Structural Design and adds that he accepts generally accepted rules, yet is not afraid to question them.


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Kodré is considered one of the pioneers of Austria’s conceptual jewellery movement. Born in Graz, he studied art history at the University of Vienna, but his meeting and eventual marriage to legendary jewellery artist Elisabeth Defner in the early 1960s inspired him to begin making jewellery. He interrupted this career to finish his art history studies but returned to jewellery in the early 1990s and has been creating exciting and convincing art ever since.

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