Anders B. Liljefors (1923-1970)

Anders B. Liljefors was a Swedish ceramicist, sculptor and painter. He spent a total of ten years at Gustavsberg, first from 1947 to 1953 and secondly from 1955 to 1957. At Gustavsberg he revolutionized the perspective on stoneware with his free form creations, opening for stoneware to be considered art as well as arts and crafts.

He studied sculpture at Edward Berggrens Målarskola for Ivar Jonsson, painting at Målarskolan for Isaac Grünewald, and at Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen. After starting his employment at Gustavsberg in 1947, he quickly gained a reputation as an eccentric, both in regards to his production and as a person. He soon got his own studio, where he developed a very personal style. It stood in stark contrast to the artistic ideas of Wilhelm Kåge, Berndt Friberg and Stig Lindberg, who strived for perfection in forms and glazes.  Nonetheless, his first separate exhibition at NK in 1952 was a success.

During his second period at Gustavsberg, Anders B. Liljefors started experimenting with casting ceramics in sand, a technique that gave his stoneware distinctive surfaces and forms. The pieces were often decorated with the glazes that the Wilhelm Kåge, Berndt Friberg and Stig Lindberg had deemed substandard. The new ceramics were presented in an exhibition in 1956 and while they represented a revolution in stoneware, all critics and connoisseurs were not charmed. For many, the bulky forms and “slimy” glazes were too far from the prevalent artistic ideals. However, Liljefors’ work foreboded a freer, more artistic future for ceramics. In the early 1960s Bengt Berglund continued on the same path and is considered Anders B. Liljefors’ spiritual heir.

Following his time at Gustavsberg, Anders B. Liljefors set up his own ceramic studios in Roslagen outside Stockholm and in Blekinge in the south of Sweden. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack at a ceramics’ symposium in Hungary in 1970.

His production included vases, bowls, birds, abstract sculptures, wall reliefs etc. His public works include a 450 m² ceramic wall relief in Folkets Hus in Stockholm, created in collaboration with Signe Persson-Melin between 1959 and 1960. He is represented at Nationalmuseum, Röhsska muséet and Victoria and Albert Museum, among others.

Literature: Gustavsberg: Porslinet, Fabriken, Konstnärerna. Gösta Arvidsson, Norstedts, 2007.

Henning Koppel (1918-1981)

Henning Koppel’s pioneering, organic designs in silver for Georg Jensen are in timeless demand with their bold, magnificently executed plastic forms. His creations for Georg Jensen and Bing & Grøndahl are classics of Scandinavian Modern design.

Koppel originally studied sculpture under professor Einar Utzon-Frank at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Sculpture in 1936–37, followed by studies at Académie Ranson in Paris from 1938 to 1939. He lived in Sweden during the Second World War, like many other Danes with Jewish roots, and took up jewelry making during that period. Following his return to Denmark in 1945, he was tied to Georg Jensen. Henning Koppel’s unique artistic expression fused with the traditional craftsmanship methods mastered at Georg Jensen, and he emerged as an accomplished silver artist, creating jewelry, hollowware and cutlery.

From 1961 until his death in 1981, Henning Koppel was also tied to Bing & Grøndahl Porcelænsfabrik, where he created tableware.

Among Koppel’s awards are the Lunning Prize in 1953, Gold Medals at the Milan Triennale in 1951, 1954 and 1957 and the International Design Award of the American Institute of Interior Designers in 1963.

Literature: The Lunning Prize, Nationalmusei utställningskatalog nr 489, 1986

 

The “Amoeba” bracelet was designed in 1947. Shop on nordlingsjewelry.com

Anna-Lisa Thomson (1905-1952)

The artist Anna-Lisa Thomson is best known for her stoneware and earthenware for Uppsala-Ekeby where she worked from the mid 1930s until her untimely death in 1952. One of her most commercially successful designs was the “Paprika” vase, which remained in production well into the 1960s. Dividing her time between Uppsala and the Swedish west coast, her motives drew inspiration from the coastal landscape, often including marine plants, flowers and starfish. She remains today one of the most popular Swedish ceramists from the time period.