Evan Jensen's "Antika" Series: Merging the Sober and Sublime
The works of Danish artist and master metal forger Evan Jensen (1888-1978) are sought out by design cognoscenti for their originality and often philosophical sensibility. Heading his own foundry in Copenhagen (located at Hesseløgade 3-7 ) from 1920 into the 1970s, Jensen worked mainly in bronze and focused on objects for the home, such as vases, figures, and small pieces of furniture, as well as jewelry and lettering for monuments. His most exclusive designs demonstrated a sophisticated take on artistic trends that were sometimes juxtaposed in an altogether unique manner.
Period photograph depicting models from the "Antika" line of lamp bases by Evan Jensen, 1940s
Currently on view at BAC are a trio of lamps from Jensen's "Antika" series. The line merged the two stylistic features for which Jensen is best known: a repeated ring motif that was featured on a pair of candlesticks for which Jensen received the Grand Prix at the Barcelona Exposition of 1929 and a distinctive painterly surface texture that was the primary theme of his vase that was awarded the Grand Prix at the Paris Exposition of 1937. The combination of the sober ring pattern, derived from the Classical tradition; the sublime atmospheric texture, analogous to aspects of the Skønvirke (Danish Arts and Crafts) Movement; as well as aspects of contemporary art (such as the art of Svend Hammershøi), creates a dynamic tension of a cosmic nature within the Antika models.
Jensen's display at the 1937 Exposition in Paris.