IKEA Art Event 2018

Since being founded in 1943, IKEA has grown into the world’s largest furniture retailer. Commonly associated with their product’s modern design aesthetic, minimalist simplicity, and ready-to-assemble nature, this Swedish-founded Dutch-based company is known for offering functional yet affordable furnishings for the everyday person’s home. But what if they took this mentality and applied it to the world of art, producing modestly priced works of art that aren’t meant for the gallery or museum wall but rather for brightening a person’s home? And that’s the guiding principle behind the annual IKEA Art Events. Debuting in 2015, the first three IKEA Art Event collections were comprised of posters designed by street artists, photographers, and illustrators, but for their newest, fourth series they’ve enlisted designer toy and similar artists to create limited edition figurines.

The IKEA Art Event 2018

“We wanted to see what would happen when combining an old craft tradition with young art forms”, said the IKEA Art Event’s Creative Leader, Henrik Most, according to the project’s press release, further stating that “I think we found something interesting that hopefully can introduce art glass to a new generation”. And to this end, IKEA enlisted Målerås Glassworks, who have been creating hand-blown glass since 1890 and are one of the few glassworks still active in Sweden. Located in southern Sweden’s so-called “Kingdom of Crystal”, Målerås Glassworks’ skilled glass masters handmade every piece in the IKEA Art Event 2018 collection. “In working with glass, a material with such a long and amazing tradition”, said Most, “we got the opportunity to lift it to the contemporary scene”.
Celebrating the diversity of designer toys and art collectibles, the IKEA Art Event 2018 enlisted a worldwide array of contemporary artists, specifically Coarse, James Jarvis, Nathan Jurevicius, Michael Lau, Joe Ledbetter, Ludvig Löfgren, Junko Mizuno, and Arkiv Vilmansa. Each invited to design their own crystal glass figurine, most of these artists had never worked in glass before and thus had to creatively embrace the challenges and possibilities of the material. And the result is a collection of eight limited edition sculptures that are playfully nostalgic, expressively artistic, and immediately accessible to the everyman. With each piece imbued with its own narrative and symbolism, CoART Magazine will be dedicating a series of feature articles to each design, delving into them thoroughly.

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