Alberto Zorzi was born in Santa Giustina in Colle (near Padua) in 1958. There he studied at the Istituto d’Arte Pietro Selvatico (a specialised art secondary school). The school had a great tradition of avant-garde jewellery making, and in his five years there, he studied painting, sculpture and jewellery making. From 1976 he attended a separate section where he studied the art of working metals and the goldsmith’s art, taking his diploma in Applied Art two years later. Then he trained as a jewellery artist at the Padua School, in a period of creative verve which was spreading across the region of the Veneto, including optical-kinetic research (the N Group) and the reinterpretation of German Bauhaus and of the school of Max Bill. He then took a Degree in History of Contemporary Art at the University of Padua, at the Faculty of Letters. His degree thesis was on jewellery as art, with an emphasis on the work of Lucio Fontana as painter, sculptor and jewellery artist.
Zorzi’s training, transformed into a modus operandi which sets him apart from certain “scholastic” formulations, implied intense research, aimed principally at international points of reference, particularly British, American and German. The richness of his projects, mainly composed of notes and drawings, draws into evidence a will to experiment, to study and research the aesthetic which is admirable in the way it continually alludes to the forms and particularity of materials.
In 1987 he began to teach the Goldsmith’s Art at the Istituto d’Arte Pietro Selvatico, and from 1991 to 1993 at the Jewellery Department of the European Institute of Design in Milan. Since the mid Nineties he has been a professor of the jeweller’s art at the Faculty of Letters at the University of Florence (Degree course in Culture and Couture, of which he has been the co-ordinator of the jewellery course since 2000) and at the Fine Art Academy in Ravenna.
Zorzi’s impressive creative skills make him one of the best-known exponents of the famous Goldsmith’s School in Padua. From the mid-Eighties he had a great number of personal shows In Italy (Milan, Galleria Schubert; Padua, Galleria Fioretto; Verona, Galleria Borghesi; Florence, Galleria Fallani Best) and abroad (Berne, Galerie Michèle Zeller; Hanau, Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus; Zurich, Galerie Schmuck Forum).
In 1982 he won the first prize of the international Die Kette competition in Hanau, awarded by the German Association of Jewellery Art. His work became particularly well known and appreciated in Germany and Switzerland, where he had already begun to take part in many collective shows (Pforzheim, Schmuckmuseum; Munich, Sonderschau der Internationalen Handwerksmesse; Lugano, Galleria Cubo).
In 1993, under the auspices of the Vicenza International Jewellery Fair, his work in conjunction with the Jewellery firm Galante from Vicenza won him the Design Gallery competition.
In 2003 he was awarded the Argò National Prize in Rome for novelty in jewellery design for his work of avant garde jewellery named La città [The City], just one of the many prizes he won. Because of the research and experimentation that went into his pieces and the studied choice of materials used, the creations of the artist have been exhibited in personal and collective exhibitions in public and private galleries which are among the most important in Europe (Vienna, Galerie V&V; Paris, Palais de Chaillot, Musée du Luxembourg; London, Electrum Gallery; Antwerp, Provinciaal Diamantmuseum; Legnica, State Gallery of Art; Ljubljana, Slovenian Ethnographical Museum; Istanbul, Museum of Islamic and Turkish Art), and the rest of the world (Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes; Perth, Art Gallery of Western Australia; South Korea, Seoul Arts Center; Tokyo, Yarakucho Art Forum).
Last, but not least, are the important shows that Zorzi has had in Florence, at the Palazzo Pitti: The Art of Jewellery and Artistic Jewellery from the 1900s to the Present Day, and in Ancona, at the Mole Vanvitelliana: Golden Imagination, Jewellery Artists and Artist Jewellers in Italy in the Second Half of the 20th Century.
Zorzi holds a very important place in the panorama of avant garde jewellery; his unique pieces are found in public collections in Milan (Civic Archaeological Museum), Arezzo (National Museum of Contemporary Jewellery), Hanau (Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus), New York (Museum of Art and Design), Montreal (The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts), Perth (Art Gallery of Western Australia), Graz (Landesmuseum Joanneum), and Erbach (Deutsches Elfenbeinmuseum).