MINNEAPOLIS—CraftBOWL is a multi-part exhibition of vessels and objects made by Swedish master craftspeople that launches the American Swedish Institute’s 2018 The Handmade, a year-long exploration of the handmade form showcasing three major, international exhibitions. CraftBOWL examines the work and careers of renowned Swedish artists: woodworker Jögge Sundqvist, Ingegerd Råman, who designs ceramics/glass, and glassmaker Bertil Vallien. Also on view will be 101 Bowls, an eclectic display of creativity, and a non-profit benefit exhibition, Bowls for Open Arms. CraftBOWL opens on Friday, Jan. 19, with the First Look—CraftBOWL preview party and runs through January 20 – April 8, 2018, in the American Swedish Institute’s (ASI) Osher Gallery and Turnblad Mansion. ASI is located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis. For more details, visit ASImn.org or call 612-871-4907.
The Handmade focuses on master makers, the work they create and the global movements they have inspired, opening a window on to Sweden’s intimate connection to the handmade form and its international impact. In addition to CraftBOWL, two other 2018 exhibitions are part of ASI’s The Handmade: The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson, on view April 21 – July 15, 2018, (First Look opening April 20) and Gudrun Sjödén – A Colorful Universe, on view July 27 - October 28, 2018 (First Look opening July 26). Ceramic sculptor Kim Simonsson of Fiskars, Finland, creates sensitive, yet otherworldly, figures in ceramics of children, animals and mythical beings, often communing in nature. Gudrun Sjödén, considered the godmother of Swedish fashion, is a renowned textile designer and entrepreneurial force whose boldly feminine collections are inspired by nature and Swedish folk motifs. She grew up on a farm where handcrafts, such as knitting or carving, were a part of life. This visually striking exhibition shares her original watercolors and archival constructed catalogs.
Bruce Karstadt, ASI President/CEO, commented, “The Handmade offers the American Swedish Institute a unique opportunity to dedicate a year to exploring the tradition and contemporary evolution of handmade forms by inviting some of the most respected Nordic and local artists and craft makers to share their work and insights. In a society that is increasingly invested in the virtual experience, we encourage visitors to reconnect with handmade objects and tap into the aesthetic and the innate physical and creative abilities that are part of the human experience.”
CraftBOWL Artist Overviews
CraftBOWL unites the work of three influential Swedish craftspeople with accompanying work by local artists and a wide variety of programming. Both Sundqvist and Råman will visit ASI during the exhibition and take part in tours and other activities. Woodworker Jögge Sundqvist (aka Surolle), in an installation titled Surolle, will display 45 master works that champion his philosophical approach as connected to the Swedish sensibility of slöjd or handcraft. He is acclaimed for his expressive and beautifully carved objects including bowls, chairs, sculptures, cupboards, spoons and trays. In his live show “Rhythm and Slöjd,” he shapes artwork to rock music. His installment is presented in collaboration with Hemslöjden, The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies.
Ingegerd Råman, recognized as a Swedish National Treasure, is a legendary artist in glass and ceramics who is acclaimed for her simple, timeless and highly functional designs. For almost five decades she has worked with such prestigious Swedish glassworks as Johansfors, Skruf and Orrefors, and more recently designed a line for IKEA focusing on natural fibers. The Form installation at ASI will feature selections from Råman’s six signature collections demonstrating the dialogue among form, function and aesthetic. Her work is presented in collaboration with Svensk Form, the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design.
Bertil Vallien’s work, in an installation called Rites of Passage, will include glass sculptures and wooden bowls ranging from the early 1960s to new vessels, brought together by ASI for the first time. The display explores Vallien’s obsessive fascination with boats, bridges, portals and paths that may lead between life’s different stages. For more than five decades, Vallien has probed the mystical and narrative expressing a constant drive for innovation. He has worked on his own and as a guest teacher at the Universities of Chicago and Minnesota, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Pilchuck School of Glass, forming important links between the U.S. and Sweden. Vallien is presented in collaboration with The Glass Factory.
First Look CraftBOWL January 19, doors 6:30 p.m., event 7 – 10 p.m.
$15 ASI members / $20 non-members