ARNE BANG (Danish, 1901-1983)
Tall Ribbed stoneware vase, Denmark, ca. 1950
15.5" H x 10" W
Arne Bang (Danish, 1901 - 1983) was a sculptor and ceramicist who hailed from a family of artists. His father was a painter, his sister a ballet dancer, and his brother a glass designer and architect, with whom Arne often collaborated. Bang studied sculpture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen from 1920-1925 and again from 1928-1929. With his brother, he traveled to Paris in 1925 to contribute to the Danish Pavilion at the World Exposition. While there, Bang was exposed to the arts and design of Japan, which greatly impacted his later aesthetics.
Bang’s early works received high praise both critically and commercially. His thesis project of 1929, A Fallen Warrior, won the Academy’s gold medal and was permanently erected in 1942 as a memorial to fallen World War II soldiers. Ceramics produced for the short-lived company he cofounded with Royal Copenhagen designer Carl Halier were also immensely popular and were lauded in the press.
In 1929, Bang joined his brother at Holmegaard Glassworks, where Arne led the stoneware department and his brother was creative director. He focused on creating works that would be accessible to the masses, creating prolifically throughout the 1930s. His typical pieces were monochromatic with matte glazes, which he used for a variety of works, including vases, dishes, and bowls.
He also created exterior decoration for public buildings throughout Denmark, motifs often derived from Nordic mythology, history, and nature. Bang’s works are in the permanent collections of the Design Museum in Denmark, the Vejen Art Museum, and the Næstved Museum. Bang was an advocate for quality and beauty in everyday life, an attitude that is visible within his works both large and small.