Steen Ipsen is a ceramicist who was born in 1966 in Naestved, Denmark and currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ipsen graduated from the Danish School of Design in Kolding in 1990. His work is untethered to a particular tradition of sculpture, it is an idiosyncratic practice. Ipsen's ellipse sculptures are faintly molecular, mathematical, or even fruit-like. Using clay and PVC, Ipsen creates work that surpasses decoration into innovation. His combinations of bright colors, smooth, monochrome glazes, and biomorphic and scientific shapes create beautiful art pieces. Other than his current, ongoing collection of ellipse shaped sculptures, Ipsen has worked in geometric shapes, bubble shapes, organic shapes, vessels, spikes, ball shapes, and more. Ipsen gathers his inspiration and reduces it to shapes, such as balls and ellipses. Once a theme, or element, is chosen, Ipsen uses his unique strategy for the design and structure, forgoing any digital technique. His work will commonly be influenced by geometric systems found in organic mineral growth, crystallization, and cell division. With the use of intuitive modeling by hand, Ipsen forms his sculptures. He plays with convex and concave forms, contrasting lines and colors, and smooth surfaces. The geometric cutting of forms with PVC or leather allows the shape to display movement and purity of form. In his black monochrome sculptures, Ipsen invites the viewer to think about the affects of reflection on its surroundings. Ipsen’s sculptures fit into art history somewhere between pop art, the organic abstractions of modernism and the whole weight of the Scandinavian design legacy. As sculptures with an endlessly visually associative range, they have a broad appeal and create a contemplative mood and a feeling of timelessness.
The Danish Arts Foundation describes Ipsen as, "one of the most gifted ceramic artists in Denmark." From 1996 to 2004, Ipsen was the Head of the Department of Glass and Ceramics at the Danish Design School, Copenhagen. Ipsen has been a member of the board of Danish Crafts at the Danish Ministry of Culture since 2006. In 2012, Ipsen, Bente Skjøttgaard, and Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl — all active Danish ceramic artists — established and continue to direct Copenhagen Ceramics, an exhibition space dedicated to providing maximum artistic license to new experimental ideas and showcasing and demonstrating the high quality and great diversity of contemporary Danish ceramics as well as work by selected non-Danish artists. He has participated in major exhibitions in Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and the USA. His work is represented in major museums and private collections worldwide. These include illustrious names such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Musée Magnelli in Vallauris, France, the Museum of Art and Design in Hamburg, Germany, Icheon World Ceramic Center in Korea, Design Museum Denmark in Copenhagen, and Trapholt Art Museum in Denmark. Renowned Danish private collections include the New Carlsberg Foundation and the Annie and Otto Detlef Collection.
To view a full selection of Steen Ipsen's available work, please visit our Artsy page.