Before our update to the inventory next week I tought it a fun diversion to write a few words on the interesting painting of a glassblower by Vicke Lindstrand for sale tomorrow at Uppsala auktionskammare.
Lindstrand is one of few glass designers that made sketches of his workers. In the Småland museum archive there are a dozen of them, and in these drawings Lindstrand captures the spirit and vitality of the glassblowers at Orrefors in the 1930's. You can practically feel their deft movements working the material. (The sense of movement, a core characteristics of modernism, is unfortunately lacking in his later more conventional drawings from the 1950's at Kosta). This is one of the reasons why I think the approximate dating by Uppsala Auktionskammare to 1940-1950's is incorrect. First of all in 1940 he left Orrefors and was not hired at Kosta until 1952, so the 1940's is out of the question since he had signed an agreement with Orrefors to not make any glass designs for other companies during a period of ten years. He was also most prolific as a painter in the 1920's-1930's and stylistically this painting bears a stronger resemblance to this early period where his lines often were clearly defined and based on geometric shapes in a sort of semi-cubism. Most importantly, if one compares the painting to one sketch in particular from Orrefors in the 1930's the model that he based the painting on is most likely revealed. He probably took the sketch home and put it next to the empty canvas. Lindstrand then used a color scheme to emphasize the ferocious heat of the furnace and reduced the space into geometric shapes. Something very telling can be said about the latter. Notice that only the glass, furnace and glassblower are represented in circular lines and how this formal structure appear to create a spiritual bond between glass and glassblower, maker and material. They are one.