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Erik Gronborg

Danish, b. 1931

circa 1968

7.25 x 5.375 x 5.25 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Erik Gronborg’s Mug is a refreshingly bright spectacle of classic Pop art design. The wide lower half of the mug is decorated with a yellow and green checkerboard pattern that tapers into a narrow orange-red neck. Decals depicting the silhouette of a man in profile wearing a hat, no doubt a figure from popular media at the time, wrap around the uppermost band of the form. Gronborg’s Mug is humorous in its imagery as well as in its proposal for the use of such an object in daily life.

While born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1931, Erik Gronborg has spent most of his life and career in the United States. He received an MA in sculpture from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963 and worked as a professor in various mediums at UC Berkeley; Reed College; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; San Diego State University; and MiraCosta College in north San Diego County. Gronborg’s ceramic works are notable for their intensely decorated surfaces, often conveying ironic or satirical political commentary. Since his retirement from teaching in 2001, he has expanded his artistic practice to include ceramics, printmaking, sculpting, woodworking, and gardening in collaboration with his wife, Irina, in Solana Beach, California.

Ayla Murray

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