Lisa Engqvist 1914-1989
Lisa Engqvist was born in Florence, Italy in 1914 to Danish parents. From an early age, her uncles - Gudmund Hentze (painter) and Svend Rathsack (sculptor) exposed her to the world of arts and crafts. Engqvist attended The School of Arts and Crafts when the two schools (The Craft School of the Danish Museum of Decorative Art and The Technical Society's Schools' department of art industry) merged in 1930. In 1935, Engqvist was part of their first graduation group and married the architect Hans Henrik Engqvist (1912-2003).
Between 1935-38 Engqvist was employed as a ceramist by Nathalie Krebs at her Saxbo workshop. Engqvist's first child was born in 1938, followed by twins in 1943. In 1948 she founded her own workshop in the family home in Lyngby (Denmark) and debuted her first Artists' Autumn Exhibition that same year. During the summers of 1949 and 1950 Engqvist experimented with the Japanese raku technique in a simple self-built oven on a farm in Hvalpsund in Himmerlandsbanken where she and her family holidayed
In 1952 Engqvist returned to Saxbo and produced stoneware works, alongside Edith Sonne Bruun and Eva Staehr-Nielsen, for the company's anniversary exhibition in 1954.
In the years 1965-70 Engqvist was employed at the Bing & Grondahl Porcelain Factory were she developed models for the mass production of porcelain. Most notably a series of jars, boxes and vases in round and square shapes with abstract organic and geometric shapes, reminiscent of graphic monotypes she produced 1957-58. In 1966 she worked for three months at Wrecclesham Pottery in Surrey, England, where she produced a series of cylindrical sculptures with organic, naturalistic shells with dark slips and matte glazes.
In the early 1980s she became a teacher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and was (in 1982-83) an examiner for the Artists' Autumn Exhibition. Engqvist contributed many articles on ceramic experiments in the journal Danish Crafts.
Engqvist received numerous honors and grants including the Danish Folk Art Annual Award 1958, Tagea Brandts Travel Award in 1962 and the Bindesbøll Medal in 1984. Engqvist also exhibited frequently in Denmark and abroad - Selected exhibitions include Charlotte's Autumn Exhibition 1954-55, Charlotte's Spring Exhibition 1957, Formes Scandinave in Paris (1958), Small Group of Freedom (1959-69), Ceramics and Textiles (1971), The Arts of Denmark in New York (1960), Nordic ceramics, London (1962) and Ceramic Roads (1985-1989). After her death in 1989, Engqvist was honoured with a memorial exhibition at Aarhus Art Academy in 1990.