Normann Copenhagen’s abstract new range has an artful twist

The Danish design brand launches The Normann x Brask Art collection with ten international artists, curated by Jens Peter-Brask

Left, Three Mirrors - one with a semi-circle head and deep U shaped base with purple outline; one small circle mirror with pink semi-circle outline; one on the floor with a blue outline.. Right, A blue vase with an orange flower
Left, Three Mirrors by Greg Bogin. Right, Vase by Vincent Dermody
(Image credit: TBC)

Danish design brand Normann Copenhagen is swapping its famed clean functional lines for abstract prints, tongues and sexual desire for its latest collection. In collaboration with Copenhagen-based curator Jens-Peter Brask, the furniture purveyor explores the boundaries between art and design with The Normann x Brask Art collection, continuing its expansion into broader creative realms.

Normann Copenhagen is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and founder Poul Madsen has taken this milestone as an opportunty to display his firm interest in the art world, and capitalise on the brand’s experimental legacy. ‘We have always flirted with the artistic, not least in the early years of the company where handicraft products were a big part of the collection, and the first bold furniture pieces of New Danish Modern were introduced.’

A white deck of cards with a small candle holder on top which is a mix of dark blue and light blue.

Candlestick by Roma Manikhin

(Image credit: TBC)

For Madsen, working with his friend Brask was natural selection, and he appointed ten artists from the US, Denmark and Russia who would embrace the idea of art flourishing within products, embedding their idiosyncratic creative language into the works.

Complex emotions are weaved into domestic objects for the range. Distress is found in blankets by New York-based Tony Matelli; Moscow-based artist Roma Manikhin creates erotically charged playing cards and candlesticks; joy is found in mirrors by Greg Bogin and the strength of female empowerment is felt in a shower curtain, drawn on by Mira Dancy. ‘During one of my visits to her studio in New York, I noticed this shower curtain hanging in a corner. A standard shower curtain, which Mira had decorated with her expressive artwork and, without pretense, had managed to lift this everyday object to a new level,' Brask explains of Dancy’s commission. ‘I knew then that this was what Mira should be making for the Normann x Brask Art Collection.’

A multi-colour painted rug lying on the floor and up against a wall.

Rug by Anton Munar

(Image credit: TBC)

The collection of curiously formed pieces produce a sense of abstract familiarity, urging the viewer to dig deeper. ‘Our requirements in relation to design are changing,’ explains Madsen, ‘in addition to function and aesthetics, the emotive aspects of design are becoming increasingly important.’

Like many of Normann Copenhagen’s projects – its Tivoli sub-brand that launched last year, and experimental and eclectic showroom to name a few – colour is also rooted in the range. From Vincent Dermody’s sculptural concrete collage vases that are built over empty beer bottles to Anton Munar’s vibrantly painted and woven rug. Meanwhile Gudrun Hasle pares back to showcase vulnerability with her diagnoses of dyslexia in her carafe and glass. It is the most subtle work in the range yet the most intimate as she physically etches her personal issues on the delicate glass surface.

A tall carafe filled with water and a glass.

Carafe by Gudrun Hasle

(Image credit: TBC)

Aside from the art world, Normann Copenhagen has cracked into other creative disciplines with fashion concessions inside its Østerbro flagship and a collaboration with a Copenhagen film festival in the past too. ‘Everything is allowed. I think, we more often look to other fields for inspiration and collaboration, and find that it can have a positive impact on what we do,’ Madsen muses.

Playful, emotional and experimental, the Normann x Brask Art collection signifies an exciting direction for the Danish brand. Following its launch at a gallery space inside its Copenhagen showroom earlier this year, the collection will be available around May, and they look to expand with even more artists, tasking us once again to rethink how we perceive and experience functional design.

An exhibition space with with a beige, blue and green blanket displayed on a wall. Each blanket has a drawing on with some text.

Three Throw Blankets by Tony Matelli

(Image credit: TBC)

A white circular dish with an animal shape sketch.

Platter by Jørgen Haugen Sørensen

(Image credit: TBC)

A small six legged wood table with six sides and a blue centre.

Table by Graham Collins

(Image credit: TBC)

On the floor is a bedspread with a multi coloured design (purple, black, blue, green). The design looks like a tree with its branches and an animal looking up to the night sky. The pillow rests against a wall and has a similar design.

Bedspread and pillows by Ryan Schneider

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information, visit the Normann Copenahgen website

Sujata Burman is a writer and editor based in London, specialising in design and culture. She was Digital Design Editor at Wallpaper* before moving to her current role of Head of Content at London Design Festival and London Design Biennale where she is expanding the content offering of the showcases. Over the past decade, Sujata has written for global design and culture publications, and has been a speaker, moderator and judge for institutions and brands including RIBA, D&AD, Design Museum and Design Miami/. In 2019, she co-authored her first book, An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture, published by Hoxton Mini Press, which was driven by her aim to make the fields of design and architecture accessible to wider audiences.