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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.


Born 1960, Finland

1986-87  Guest artist at Arabia Factory
1985       Trainee at Studio Bente Hansen, Copenhagen
1985       Assistant for Minni Lukander at Arabia
1984       Trainee at Arabia Factory
1979-84  Helsinki University of Art and Design

2018     Hostler Burrows, New York, NY (forthcoming)
2017     Design Miami, Hostler Burrows, Miami, FL
             Salon Art + Design, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY
             Design Miami / Basel, Hostler Burrows, Basel, Switzerland
             FOG Design + Art, Hostler Burrows, San Francisco, CA
2016     Design Miami, Hostler Burrows, Miami, FL
             Salon of Art + Design, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY
             Expo Chicago, Hostler Burrows, Chicago, IL
             Design Miami / Basel, Hostler Burrows, Basel, Switzerland
             Winter Antiques Show, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY

2015     Design Miami, Hostler Burrows, Miami, FL
             Expo Chicago, Hostler Burrows, Chicago, IL

             Design Miami / Basel, Hostler Burrows, Basel, Switzerland
Kristina Riska: New Work, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY
2014     Design Miami, Hostler Burrows, Miami, FL
             Six Women, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY
2012     Arabia 9th floor, Helsinki
2011     Gallery Angelo, Pori
             Gallery För Bord Dukning, Copenhagen, Denmark
2010     Gallery Inger Molin, Stockholm, Sweden
             Westerwald Ceramic Museum, Germany
             Gallery Marianne Heller, Heidelberg, Germany
2009     Collection exhibition, Espoo Museum of Modern Art
             Arabia Gallery, Helsinki
             Ceramic Museum Grimmeshus, Denmark
2008     Gallery Oljemark, Helsinki
             Gallery Kaj Forsblom, Helsinki
             Musee Des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
2007     4+ Arthall, Luxemburg
             4+ Arthall, Bruxelles, Belgium
             Gallery Inger Molin, Stockholm, Sweden
             Forum Box, Helsinki
2006     Private exhibition, Design-Museum, Helsinki
             Transformations, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
2005     Schikaragi, Japan
             Design-Museum together with Paula Winokur and Margaret West
2004     European Ceramics, Fiskars
             Q-exhibition, Fiskars
             Matter and Spirit, Jyväskylä
             Gallery Philippe Denys, Bruxelles, Belgium
2003     Nordic Cool, Washington, USA
             Q-exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
2002     The International Ceramics Exhibition, Mino, Japan
             Arabia Gallery, Helsinki
             Poetics of Clay, Design-Museum, Helsinki
2001     Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Cheongju, Korea
             Poetics of Clay, Philadelphia, USA
             Private Exhibition with Dörte Behm, Rheine, Germany
2000     Blue, Scandinavian exhibition, Ceramic Museum Grimmeshus, Denmark
             The First Nordic Ceramic Triennale, Berlin, Germany
             Retretti Art Center, Punkaharju
             Private exhibition with painter Tiina Heiska, Gallery Johan S., Helsinki
             Gallery Pictor, Vihti

1999     Lahti Art Museum

1998     Finnish Design, Design Forum, Helsinki
1997     Five Women, Design Forum, Helsinki
1996     Private exhibition, Arabia Gallery, Helsinki
1993     Ceramic Art 1993, Art Museum Lappeenranta
             Different, Museum of Modern Art, Helsinki
1992     Art and Industry, Design-Museum, Helsinki
1991     Thoughts in Clay, Gallery Pictor, Vihti
             Ceramic Art 1991, Art Museum Lappeenranta
             Designers under the Spotlight, Kaapelihalli, Helsinki
             Private exhibition together with Kimmo Friman, Gallery Kluuvi, Helsinki
1990     Three Ceramics, Gallery Johan S., Porvoo
             Design Museum, Helsinki
1989     Thirteen rooms, Gallery Wanha Satama, Helsinki
1988     Touch, Arthall, Taidehalli, Helsinki
1987     Light and Matter, City’s Art Museum, Helsinki
             Metaxis, Design Museum, Helsinki
             Private exhibition Fragile Time, Arabia Gallery, Helsinki
1986     Gallery Bronda, Helsinki
             Arabia Gallery, Helsinki
1985     Arabia Gallery, Helsinki
1984     Design Museum, Helsinki

2008     Honorary Award, Mino, Japan
2007     Finnish Cultural Foundation
2006     The State of Finland Art Commissions, working grant
                  for 5 years
2003     Finnish Cultural Foundation, working grant for 3 years
2002     Silver medal, Mino, Japan
1998     Honorary award- Finnish Design 10 exhibition
1997     The State of Finland Central Commission for the Arts,
​                  working grant for 5 years
1995     Suomi-prize
             D’Oro medal, Faenza, Italy
1994     The State of Finland Art Commissions, working grant for 1 year
1992     Finnish Cultural Foundation
1991     The State of Finland Art Commissions, working grant for 1/2 years

2011     Jury member in International Ceramics Competition, Mino, Japan
2010     Visiting teacher at School of Architecture, University of Illinois
            Stonefloor at Kuopio Prison
2005     GEKKO sculpture at Kamppi Metro Station, together with Kati
​                  Tuominen-Niittylä and Pekka Paikkari
            KoKo-dish for Arabia, together with Kati Tuominen-Niittylä
2004     ”Northern Latitude”- sculpture at Olympic Park and Ceramics
​                  and Sculpture, Athens
1993     Visiting teacher at University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
​                  (Konstfack), Stockholm

Arabia Art Department Society
Finnish Art Association
IAC International Academy for Ceramics

Finland’s state
Sweden’s state
City of Helsinki
Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland
Wayne State College, Minnesota, USA
Design Museum Helsinki
Gifu Museum, Japan
Saastamoinen Foundation

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