Kintsugi |1977 Bjorn Wiinblad, Lady with Songbirds, Red on White Ceramic Sculpture | Danish, Rare
This elegant, whimsical and exceptional sculpture is by celebrated Danish illustrator and glass, silver, ceramics designer Bjorn Wiinblad (b. 1918 - d. 2006). Wiinblad often designed for a number of big names as well as the pottery studios he owned, such as Vaerksted, Nymolle and Det Blaa Hus. The dating and style of this sculpture places it as a handpainted studio work that was crafted at his own Vaerksted [Workshop] studio, which Wiinblad established in 1952 in Copenhagen. Vaerksted pieces by Wiinblad show his graphic skills at their best – where he was able to convey an emotion or feeling with just a few brushstrokes or marks.
Those familiar with Wiinblads illustrative work will be familiar with the exquisite level of detail his imagination goes to. This richness of detail is brought to life across many elements of this sculpture; such as the individually shaped, stylised leaves and flowers resting in the figure's hat, the tiny birds resting on the figure's arms and knees, and the flowing, draped folds of the dress. Further careful attention is evident in intricate handpainted patterns decorating the dress and the care taken even when illustrating eyelashes.
This piece additionally features golden Kintsugi bonding, following careful repairing and highlighting, the bonding has been predominantly applied to the candleholder extension cup (top section of hat). The Kintsugi technique is modern and has been applied in a tactile manner, a gentle yet striking compliment to the sculpture's tones of red and white.
CONDITION Excellent. The separate candleholder extension cup (top section of hat) has been carefully repaired using a robust water-resistant and durable golden resin. The resin has also been applied to three minor spots on the body. Please refer to photographs as they form part of the condition report. The underside of the piece bears Wiinblad's signature, dated with '77' and finally, denoted with 'DANMARK'.
MEASUREMENTS Height: c. 12.6" / 32 cm tall (from base to tallest point, including hat/candleholder extension) x . 5.5" / 14 cm width (across widest point). Depth: c. 6.3" / 16 cm (from front to back). Unpackaged weight: c. 1.3 kg / 1,345 g
NOTES Sculpture will be securely packaged and shipping will be insured. Shipping will be combined for multiple items.
A BIT OF HISTORY Born in 1918 in Copenhagen, Bjorn Wiinblad began his training and path to success in 1935. Wiinblad sought the path to his first passion of art and enrolled in graphic school at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, debuting in 1945 with an extensive exhibition in Palægade, Copenhagen. He met and became firm friends Jacob E. Bang around this time, who engaged him to work for Nymølle Pottery.
From the beginnings at Nymolle, Wiinblad received multiple commissions, from designing textile and embroidery patterns to drawing posters, book and magazine illustrations. Wiinblad drew for the United Nations in Paris and designed costumes and stages for several theatrical performances. His fame grew in Denmark but soon would extend to Norway and Sweden and in 1950 his ceramics were exhibited at Bonnier's in New York, which specialised in Scandinavian design.
Wiinblad's recognition and acclaim would continue to grow, bringing him a silver medal at the first international ceramics festival in 1955 in Cannes, France and appointment as artistic director for Rosenthal in 1960. During the 1960s, Wiinblad would become owner to a number of ceramic studios including Vaerksted, Nymolle and Det Blaa Hus. He would make Det Blaa Hus his workshop and home until his death in 2006.
Wiinblad's successes did not stop in the Sixties, his continued achievements and international success were extensively documented and celebrated on the dedicated website: https://www.bjornwiinblad-denmark.dk/om-bjoern-wiinblad
Kintsugi is a Japanese philosophy with similarities to the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, which includes ideas surrounding the embracing of the flawed or imperfect. The art of Kintsugi ("golden joinery") is the repairing of broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The aesthetics of this philosophy values breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.