Since the end of the 1960s, Konrad Mehus has been regarded as one of the leading protagonists of Norwegian art jewelry. Creative intention and content far outrank practical use and function. He breaks with established notions of jewelry as decoration, preferring to extend it as a means of communication.
The silver rings for storing contraceptive pills conceived in 1967 had already made clear his early quest towards a new relationship between goldsmithing and society. Whimsical objects made of 'useless' bits of assembled cutlery challenged in the 1970s the functionality and materiality of jewelry and implements. Medicine boxes cast out of bronze bearing his name invite the observer in the 1990s to draw (presumably false) conclusions about him as a person. Base materials and found objects also find their way into his jewelry objects: for example in the series 'Poor Man's Silver' (1991/93).
The miniature portraits of typical interior furnishings of the 1950s make Mehus's richly symbolic and metaphoric language vividly tangible: for him, recycled memories - he ultimately lived for a long time with his mother in a tiny apartment comprising two rooms and a kitchen - evoke very individual associations. They also stand for the redevelopment and improvement of universal living conditions - a central concern in Norwegian welfare politics.
Konrad Mehus thus combines art, the everyday and life associations, which are intensified by wearing the jewellery, as the narrated 'histories' are brought into manifold social contexts and activated therein. Jewelry as a narrative medium - full of wit and with social relevance.
Text in English and Norweigan.