HANS HEDBERG (Swedish, 1917- 2007)
Ceramic Tray, Biot, France, ca. 1968
Stoneware with orange mottled glaze
25.5" L x 9" W x 2.5" H
Signed underside, "HH"
Hans Hedberg (Swedish, 1917-2007) was a renowned ceramics artist who is most known for his monumentally scaled and gleaming faience sculptures of fruit, such as pumpkins, plums, apples and pears. Born in the port city of Kopmanholmen to an affluent family whose prominence derived from industrialization and whaling, Hedberg became interested in art after finishing boarding school in Stockholm in 1938. He briefly attended the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen focusing mainly on painting. Hedberg’s attraction to ceramics emerged during his time on the Isle of Capri in the 1940s, which also provided a lively social scene with creative and erudite individuals. He then attended the Istituto d'Arte della Ceramica in Faenza and embarked on the second phase of his artistic career. After settling in the South of France, Hedberg established a studio with a kiln in 1949 and his artistic practice began to blossom evolving to free-standing sculptures as well as figurative works for ecclesiastical commissions, including for his native Sweden.
In France, Hedberg expanded his reputation as a prominent artist, exhibiting his work, as well as teaching at Marseilles University. He interacted with notable artists such as Picasso, Chagall, and Cocteau, and began to advance his practice experimenting with glazes and enamels as well as form mostly with new modeling techniques and mottled muted hues for glazes. In subsequent decades, Hedberg developed his most characteristic works of fruit using plaster molds achieving naturalistic textures and surfaces emulating the rinds and skins. He also worked with the notion of the traditional vessel producing seemingly simple functional objects and organic shapes.
Hedberg lived the remainder of his life in France dying in Biot in 2007. His works have been sold and auctioned internationally, and are in private and public collections.