The pop art side of the mid-century

hello. This is nakamura, the shopkeeper.

Today I would like to talk about the mid-century pop art side of Nordic tableware.

The appeal of Scandinavian tableware lies in its simple design, which is not childish, and where design can be found.

A typical design is Gustavsberg's pattern called Berså.


Photo: Versa pattern representing mid-century Sweden

It was conceived by Stig Lindberg, a prominent figure among Nordic industrial designers.

Versa means pavilion, but the design evokes a garden with sunshine filtering through the trees in the early afternoon and a beautiful sunny day with bright green fresh greenery.

But Bertha's design is just a series of green leaves, so to speak.

It's pretty simple, and in the extreme, it's a design that even children can draw.

If you have a similar design in mind,

Andy Warhol's Campbell's soup can.

Campbell's Soup Cans

Photo: Warhol's " Campbell's Soup Cans " in 1962

Another example of Warhol's work is the Brillo Box sculpture of laundry detergent, which is a row of boxes with the same design.

Warhol's most famous work is Marilyn Monroe.

All of these are common in that "the same thing is continuous but it is established as a design".

Stig Lindberg designed Bertha in 1961, and Warhol designed Campbell's Soup, his first pop art piece, in 1962.

In other words, both of them were art movements that occurred at the same time.

By the way, Andy Warhol produced multiple copies of the same work using silkscreen prints.

In other words, there are multiple identical paintings, and the concept of ``only one of them is the true work'', which has existed in previous paintings, does not exist.

They are all genuine works by the artist himself, and the fact that there are multiple genuine works and that they have been accepted by the masses is called "pop art."

There are multiple same things, all of them are genuine.

On the other hand, Stig Lindberg's work is also characterized by the use of transcription.

Until then, the Gustavsberg workshop had found value in hand-painted paintings represented by faience.


Photo: Lindberg instructing coloring in Gustavsberg's workshop

Even now, G-Studion's works tend to be traded at relatively high prices in the market.

Lindberg, who was trained by his teacher, Wilhelm Kage, is also teaching young painters at G Studio, where young painters show their skills.

However, it was the middle of the 20th century, and there were drawbacks such as the production volume not increasing with traditional hand-coloring alone and the unevenness of the product.

The way to overcome this is mass production.

What should be done to ensure that the attractiveness of the product is not compromised even if it is mass-produced?

To that end, good design and

As mentioned above, the point that "everything is the same and genuine" is important.

And in the case of Warhol, it was a silkscreen print, but in Gustavsberg's workshop, the technique of transcription was used.

Simply put, it means sticking a sticker.


Photo: painting by transfer

In this way, the products of the golden age called mid-century actually have something in common with pop art in that they are all real, even though they are mass-produced.

Gustavsberg's Versa is currently being reprinted, using a transfer manufacturing method that is faithful to the original.

This is a very subtle difference, but

Versa has better color in vintage than in reprints.

It is an older product that develops a lush green color when held up to light.

Even if the same thing is made by mass production or transcription, there is an excellent sense of color in it.

These can be easily understood by comparing the two.


bertha vintage

Photo: Vintage (top) and reissue Bertha (bottom)

Of course, the reprint has the goodness of the reprint.

For example, a vessel called bone china,

Whiteness stands out more beautifully now than in the past.

This is because materials are stably supplied and firing technology can be controlled mechanically.

In that respect, the current version is superior to the vintage product in terms of the beauty of the white porcelain.

Also, the reprinted version is made thinner, so it feels lighter when you pick it up.

I hope that you will take this opportunity to compare both.

The richness of color development in vintage,

The reprint has the white beauty and lightness of the background,

You can feel the craftsman's desire to revive the works of the golden age.

There are still some points that fall short, but that is because the mid-century was too amazing.

See you soon.

Owner Nakamura

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