Swedish artist Tore Svensson’s fascination with the intersections of simple shapes and colours is encapsulated in his series of brooches for Hannah Gallery Barcelona, on show now. For his first solo show at the gallery, he has gathered together 33 brooches in steel, paint, porcelain, silver and MDF in a celebration of both bold colour and reduced silhouettes.

The pieces are a tribute to the artists he most enjoys, nodding to Joan Miró, Jean Arp and Ellsworth Kelly, amongst others. He also cites French mathematician Gabriel Lamé’s theories on gentle ellipse-like curves, which become transormed under new lights and surfaces, as another source of inspiration. ‘The superellipse (Lamé curve) is a shape between a square and an oval. It is common in architecture and design and, for example, used on tabletops. Now I have used the shape in some jewellery,’ Svensson says.

Tore Svensson
in steel, paint and silver

Single geometrical elements which have struck him in architecture also become assimilated into his designs: ‘In the Summer Palace in Beijing, there is a long low building with a little more than 30 windows. Each window looks different. The frame in the wood was quite dominant. When I visited the place I took a photo from each window and later I sawed out the shapes in veneer, painted them in different colours and made brooches out of it. For this exhibition, I only used the inner part, the shape of the glass without the wooden frame,’ he says.

Tore Svensson
Grey in porcelain and silver

The resulting jewellery becomes stripped-back, the pureness of the lines emphasised against a juxtaposition of materials. In the vivid hues, his joy in the project is clear: ‘For this project, I have only chosen artists, art or design I like myself.’ §

Tore Svensson
Octagon in steel and paint