|Bowl, Gustavsberg, design by Stig Lindberg, 37cm long, early 1950's hand painted||more|
In the 1950's the Swedes, as many other Europeans, were caught in the paradox of nostalgic longing for the old days versus the wish to "modernize" their life. The famous illustrator Carl Larsson had depicted happy families in their cottages in the country side at the beginning of the 20th century, similar to Norman Rockwell depicting the American Way of Life. This combination (modernism & nostalgia) somehow became the "Scandinavian Design Style" so appreciated around the world. There was a huge demand for simple, functional furniture, ceramics, glass ware and textiles.
One of the key figures that attributed to Scandinavian design was Stig Lindberg. After his education Lindberg worked (1937-1940) as an assistant for Wilhelm Kage then creative director at Gustavsberg. From 1949 to 1957, Lindberg became Gustavsberg's creative director. Some of his early ceramic design patterns remind me of the "Freeform" designs by Alfred Read and Guy Sydenham for the Poole Pottery in England. Typical of Lindberg are his combinations of organic forms with humoristic, cosy illustrations, some showing the influence of Marc Chagall (1887-1985). Besides ceramics, SL also was very successfull in designing glassware (for Holmegaard & Kosta), textiles and furniture or in illustrating children's books. His personal ceramic production (signed: "Stig L.") sticks with organic form and imprinted patterns but is usually not decorated and sober. These pieces are hard to find and timeless. In 1971 he returned to Gustavsberg, again as creative director until 1980 when he set up a studio in Italy in San Felice Circeo, between Rome and Neaples. One of his last works (1981) was designing the fountain in front of Hotel Rasheed in Bagdad. Stig Lindberg could enjoy the sun in Italy only shortly, but his designs continue to bring light to Scandinavian interiors and many others around the world...
1948, 1957 Milan Trienniale, gold medal
1951, 1954 Milan Trienniale, grand prix
1957, Gregor Paulsson Trophy
1968, Prins Eugen Medal
1973, Faenza, gold medal