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Finland’s undisputed Master of Decoration

A collection of ceramics by Birger Kaipiainen

Lots to be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Modern & Contemporary 19-20 May 2021

Photo: Rörstrand Museum

After having distinguished himself at the School of Arts and Crafts in Helsinki through his talent and imaginative approach as a designer, Birger Kaipiainen was permanently tied to Finnish ceramics company Arabia as a 22-year-old. Developing a deep interest in the works of Indian poet and multi-artist Rabindranath Tagore, he was described by his peers as “quiet and dreamy, with a rare, personal sense of color”. At Arabia, Kaipiainen was given free rein to develop his artistic ideas, and subsequently started to work on large dishes, bowls and wall reliefs with flowing forms and romantic, floral motifs. With time these works became more and more budding and colorful, with lively motifs of berries, fruits and trees.

It was not for nothing Kaipiainen was nicknamed “the master of decorators”, for his nostalgic and highly decorative ceramic designs, at a time when minimalism was the prevailing trend in Finnish ceramics. Through wonderous coloration and iriscendent glazes, Kaipiainen became a storyteller who showed an unusual virtuosity, not only artistically but also concerning ceramic techniques. Uppsala Auktionskammare proudly presents eleven ceramic works by Kaipiainen, with dishes, bowls, vases and sculptures ranging from his long-lasting tenure at Arabia to his works for Swedish ceramics company Rörstrand in the 1950’s.

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Erik Ingare


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