IKEA has teamed up with iconic artist Per B Sundberg to show another side of the Swedish design heritage. The new Föremål collection is all about skull-shaped vases, dog candleholders, and many more maximalist masterpieces.
The ceramics and glass virtuoso Per B Sundberg, aka Pelle, is passionate about exploring materials and craft. When asked, he describes his work as lush, rough, and burlesque: “It’s based on folklore, and it’s easy to understand,” he says.
Föremål is figurative, fun, sometimes absurd, and the result of a design process that partly took place on the factory floor, with Pelle picking and mixing from what he found on the shelves. Creative Leader Nike Karlsson sees a characteristic artistic expression: “By taking something that exists and putting it together with something else, he creates a new context that becomes something interesting.”
For Pelle, represented in permanent collections at M+ in Hongkong and the National Museum in Stockholm, the collaboration with IKEA is a great way to reach out: “It’s boring to be placed in a box. I like doing different things and try to fight people’s expectations. Now I can make a tray that is mass-produced and sold for under 10 euros, which makes my things accessible to a big audience. There’s a democratic aspect in that which I like.”
This, of course, goes hand in hand with the IKEA vision of making great art accessible to as many as possible. “Life at home is about more than functions and solutions. We need art that stir up emotions. If you buy a Per B Sundberg, you take something home that is more than you normally get at IKEA. Something you can treasure and hand down from generation to generation,” says Nike Karlsson.
The Föremål collection will be available for a limited time starting in September 2018.