Riska, Kristina

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Kristina Riska is born in Helsinki in 1960. Her training is at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki between 1979 and 1984. She participates in exhibitions abroad and in Finland since 1984.

Kristina Riska is a ceramic artist recognized for her unorthodox large scale pottery and artworks inspired by nature and the properties of light and shadow. Though many of her objects resist traditional practice and can solely be considered objets d’art, she has also managed to incorporate her unconventional designs into objects for every-day use. Riska first endeavored upon ceramic artistry as a student at the Department of Ceramic Art at the University of Art and Design, Finland in the 1980s. Defying the typical output of the student body, namely articles of pottery made for daily use, Riska instead took a vigorous, physical approach to her work. She would, as she does now, begin to conceptualize her works on paper, her designs ultimately coming to fruition spontaneously as she worked. She prioritized artistry above functionality and despite the demanding and time-consuming process she engaged in, her impressive yield was that of unique ceramic works that transcended the boundaries of art and design. In 1986, Riska exhibited at the Gallery Bronda, which could be considered her first critical success. On display were a large collection of pots, so large in fact, that the installation proved quite difficult. The State Art Collection purchased two pieces from the show, validating the innovation and unconventional beauty of her tremendous pieces. In 1991 Riska and the architect Kimmo Friman, then her spouse, exhibited jointly at Gallery Kluuvi. At this point in time, Riska had abandoned all the traditional tenets of pot making. Her curvaceous, imbricated, porous forms were recognized with prestigious accolades, including the State’s Suomi Prize in 1995 and a silver medal at the International Ceramic Contest in Mino, Japan in 2002. The scale of Riska’s recent work can be said to be one of its most impressive attributes, some of her objects standing at over eight feet tall. They appear fragile, delicate and exhibit a quality of lightness uncharacteristic of something so monumental. Her craftsmanship is especially apparent not only in the delicacy she imbues her grand pieces with, but also in the beauty of her glazes, given the limitations of firing such sizable objects in-oven. While her work is mostly unconventional, Riska does not entirely abandon practicality within her forms, and has designed many articles intended for daily use. Her work was popularized through her collaboration with Kati Tuominen Niittyla, which is now recognized as the widely popular Koko tableware designed for Arabia, and also her Loru tableware. Throughout her career Riska has remained true to her creative process. Whether endeavoring upon a giant elliptical sculpture or a serving dish, an elevated aesthetic permeates all of Riskas creations (text Hostler Burrows New York).

Recent exhibitions
 2006 Transformations, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
 2004 Gallery Philippe Denys, Bruxelles, Belgium
 2003 Nordic Cool, Washington, USA
 2003 Q - exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
 2002 The International Ceramics Exhibition, Mino, Japan
 2001 Cheongju International Graft Biennale, Cheongju, Korea
 2001 Poetics of Clay, Philadephia, USA
 2001 Private exhibiton with Dörte Behm, Rheine, Germany
 2000 Blue, Scandinavian exhibition, Ceramic Museum Grimmeshus, Denmark
 2000 The First Nordic Ceramic Triennale, Berlin, Germany

 Exhibitions in Finland
 2005 Design Museum together with Paula Winokur and Margaret West
 2004 European Ceramics, Fiskars
 2004 Q-exhibition, Fiskars
 2002 Poetics of Clay, Design - Museum, Helsinki
 2000 Group Exhibition, Rauma Art Museum, Rauma
 2000 Private exhibition with painter Tiina Heiska,
 Gallery Johan S. Helsinki

 2004 KoKo-tableware collection for Arabia factory with Kati Tuominen - Niittylä
 2005 “Gekko” with Kati Tuominen-Niittylä and
 Pekka Paikkari, Kamppi, Helsinki

 2002 Silver Medal, Mino Japan
 1998 Honorary Award, Finnish Design 10 Exhibition
 1995 Finland Prize, The State on Finland
 1995 Medaglia D’oro, Faenza, Italy

 2003 Finnish Cultural Foundation, working grant for 3 years
 1997 The State of Finland, working grant for five years

Pictures: portrait (source hs-fi); black object with holes (source artsy.net); expo image (source architecturaldigest).