Available for close scrutiny, the raw power of the casting process and the artist’s fingerprints marking the surface of the soft wax in the shaping of each piece, are easier to read. The technical skill of traditional stonesetting and the rebellious exaggerated opposite of the obscuring prong or the vastly expensive laser-cut hole through the gem can be closely observed. Viewing feels a little dangerous – the heart can beat a little faster, hands sweat, as questions like, ‘What if?’ ‘How much?’ ‘Which one?’ flit unbidden through the mind. There is, however, room for a small, more intellectual exercise: ‘Why these?’ Is there something perverse in wanting to understand why some pieces can be sold and others must remain with the artist?
Fritsch’s blend – tradition and anarchy – provides a challenge for every viewer.