KRISTINA RISKA (Finnish, b.1960)
Spring Dot, 2018
22.5 x 15 x 12 inches
Kristina Riska is one of Scandinavia’s foremost contemporary ceramic artists and a senior
member of the Arabia Art Department Society in Helsinki. Riska has been exploring, defying,
and redefining the traditional tenets of ceramic sculpture since the 1980’s. Her unorthodox,
large - scale works, inspired by nature and the properties of light and shadow, embody her
rigorous and physical approach to her work.
Riska begins the conceptualization of her works on paper, her designs ultimately coming to
fruition spontaneously as she works. Her process is a foray into the unknown; with each
unplanned, instinctive manipulation of the clay, she establishes a non - physical “internal” space.
She describes this space as a repository for her qualities of quietude, serenity, and concentration. Her unique ceramic sculptures are astounding in their technical prowess; their
impressive scale is matched with equal delicacy; the artist creates forms that seemingly defy
gravity and the constraints of the ceramic process. Her craftsmanship is evident as well in the
beauty of her glazes, given the limitations of firing such monumental objects in the kiln.
In 1986, Riska exhibited at the Gallery Bronda, which could be considered her first critical
success. On display were a series of vessels so large that the installation proved quite difficult.
The State Art Collection purchased two works from the show, spurring a career in which she
has been well recognized in her home country and abroad. In 1991 Riska exhibited jointly with
the architect Kimmo Friman at Gallery Kluuvi. By this time she 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.