DR. FRITZ FALK
Former director of the Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim. Consultant of the Russian Museum for Ethnography, St. Petersburg
The following sentence was quoted in 1984 in the catalogue of the exhibition ‚Friedrich Becker – Goldsmith‘ shown at the Kunstverein für das Rheinland und Westfalen (Art Association of Rhineland-Westphalia) in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf:
‚Friedrich Becker, like no other contemporary goldsmith, deserves a place in the history of goldsmithing‘.
In my view this statement is valid a quarter of a century later and even in a new millenium – without any further comments. Friedrich Becker remains in our memories as one of the most famous jewellery makers and designers of the modern era.
And even moreso: Hilde Becker perpuates the memory of her husband through the endowment of the ‚Friedrich Becker Prize‘ in collaboration with the Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedekunst (Society of Goldsmiths‘ Art), Hanau. It is a worthy cause, notable and most appropriate for such an artist.
Director „Die Neue Sammlung – The International Design Museum Munich“
Friedrich Becker is a unique artist in the field of jewellery and metalwork, and equally unique is the prize named after him.
The conception is international and trascends disciplines, similar to Friedrich Becker’s own approach. The competition is not restricted to gold- and silversmiths, but is open to makers of jewellery and metalwork, and also designers. And the judging panel – which is every time newly formed – includes not only specialists in the field, but personalities from outside of the profession.
The prize thanks to the generous trust set up by Hildegard Becker secures not only the legacy of an internationally renowned designer – with its conception and trascending disciplines – it points to the future.
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
The name of Friedrich Becker stands for avantgarde jewellery of the 20th century and long after his death continues to be known worldwide. His creations of kinetic jewellery have made history.
All his life Becker was a homo ludens, an artist who mastered the use of materials in such a way that true to the term, he played with these. He not only enriched the art of the jeweller, but also that of the metalworker and sculptor with marvellous inventions. Becker was relentless in his search for precision, yet as no other he conveyed a feeling of lightness and joie de vivre. Friedrich Becker was always inspirational to young artist jewellers, and will remain so for future generations.
ERCO GmbH Lüdenscheid
The art scene in Düsseldorf during the fifties and sixties was a major catalyst for Friedrich Becker, who raised goldsmiths‘ art to a new and untested level.
It was also a period, when at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (College for Design) in Ulm, the standards of objects were discussed. With concrete art, and even more harsher in the group Zero, artists were searching for new directions, especially after the disasters of the Third Reich. Friedrich Becker who was encouraged by these movements went on to develop the concept of new jewellery. His technical knowledge and immense skills formed the basis for his aesthetics of simplicity, which remains relevant to this day. It is worth looking at his method of mounting gemstones with almost invisible settings to recognise his technical skills and how he adapts and applies these within a creative concept. His liturgical objects for Churches have a sophisticated quality of their own. Monstrances, tabernacles, crosses and chalices form a cornerstone in his oeuvre.
Jewellery in movement, kinetics as a form of expression, belong to his most fascinating and innovative concepts he developed in his studio. Becker was a pioneer in the field of goldsmithing, an innovator, a designer, an artist and an amiable seducer when expressing his thoughts.
It is important that there is a prize named after him. Such a prize should give the younger generation the courage to take a risk and think modern.