Gallery owner and silversmith Sebastian Schildt has worked with August Happ for several years. Happ began as Sebastian’s apprentice and later became an accomplished silversmith and colleague. We have the great pleasure to introduce August Happ in his first solo exhibition at the gallery Sebastian Schildt + with works that evoke both emotion and wonder.
“The prognosis is that it will progressively hurt more and more. Numbness, tingling, spasms. But it is important to do the exercise you can. Should the needs arise, the maximum dose of painkillers may be exceeded for a period. Valium at night in order to rest. If it hurts too much, the pace of the screwing may need to be reduced. You must try to be persistent; this will take a long time. “
August Happ, excerpts from his diary June 10, 2001 after consultation with doctors.
Almost 15 years ago, silversmith August Happ made the decision to undergo extension surgery. A very painful procedure through which the legs are mechanically lengthened. Before him lay several surgeries and years of rehabilitation. These experiences left their mark and now find expression in his silver vessels which exude strength and beauty but also convey a sense of discomfort and fragility.
When a limb is exposed to a trauma or excessive force, like a broken leg, the body strives to restore function in the damaged part as quickly as possible. The appearance of the damaged area is secondary. Therefore, symmetry, perfection and harmony play no role in the form and execution of these objects.
These vessels are whole and functional, each one unique. For just as in the body’s own recovery, the vessels have sought their shape along their own path to unity and function.
August Happ says that the extension and healing process has not been entirely different from the interactions that are needed to transform a reluctant metal into a new form. With hammer, roll and draw bench, August Happ stretched and transformed pipe, sheet and wire to the captivating objects in silver.