Made for Hultberg's 1966 one-man show at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (MAD). An abstract porcelain enamel work on copper that clearly shows his strong association with abstract expressionism, a circle of artists with whom he was very close.
Born in 1926, Paul Hultberg was considered “among the most progressive artists working in enamel in the mid-twentieth century.” Later known as Paul Hammer-Hultberg, he was also a painter, a print-maker, a graphic designer and teacher. He was also well known for his large architectural panels. The work constitutes an unusual adaptation of the traditional craft in that he magnifies the scale; normally artists in enamel concentrate on jewel-like brilliance. Described as, “A veritable virtuoso in the field of enameling. Hultberg freely translates the forms and the random occurrences of nature into painterly abstract images. His technique and his style are clearly within the context of Abstract Expressionism, and both contribute essentially to a final effect of spontaneous creativity.”
His surfaces are the more original expressions of an artist who mixes the visions of painter, print-maker and adventurous inventor. He represented a new generation of enamelists who embraced abstract expressionism. His enamels were big, and he specialized in making enamel look like it was applied in bold brushstrokes. The similarity to paintings by the most graphic of the abstract expressionist artists was unmistakable. In addition to numerous architectural commissions, the works of Hultberg have been exhibited internationally and were included in both the Seattle and New York World Fairs. He is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Porcelain enamel on copper
30.48 x 30.48 cm