Steen Ipsen creates freeform sculptures that combine repetitive organic shapes; though they appear streamlined and industrial, Steen’s sculptures are the product of laborious manual craftsmanship. Ipsen studied ceramics at the Design School Kolding and began his career making works related to traditional Danish ceramics; he became more experimental around 2005 and added bolder colors or elements like spikes to his work. He became best known for his “Tied Up” series of colorful monochrome orbs bound with strips of leather and PVC, as in Ellipse 22 (2019). To create these sculptures, Ipsen molds clay using plaster forms, then joins the bulbous forms into a cluster. Once dried, he sands the works down to a polished surface and glazes, reglazes, and fires them several times to produce a highly lacquered sheen. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held in Montreal, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Cheongju, and Hong Kong.
Steen's works in a decorative ceramic expression involving both form and decoration. Decoration is integrated into the form and the form itself is spatially decorative.