Francesco Pavan’s jewellery takes time. It does not reveal itself in a fleeting, superficial glance – its subtle complexity, balance and quiet beauty require us to pause and reflect – a stipulation with which the goldsmith himself has invested his pieces. He works with a pared back aesthetic and a refined material palette of metals and colour – gold, silver, niello, enamel. The effects of light, structural design and geometrical forms are the coordinates of his creative imagination and his jewellery ranges from three-dimensional forms, relief-like structures and kinetic works to painterly, almost playful surfaces.
A master of traditional goldsmithing techniques, Francesco was a student of Mario Pinton at the Istituto Statale d’Arte Pietro Selvatico, where he was chair until 2000, and a central figure of the Padua School. He was awarded the Marzee Prize in 2003, and this monograph was published in honour of the award.
Ellen Maurer-Zilioli’s essay considers Francesco Pavan’s significant contribution to contemporary jewellery in Italy, as well as detailing his background, training, influence and ideas.