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Kristina Riska - Artists + Designers - Hostler Burrows


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 1980s. 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.


Finnish, b. 1960

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

2021    Kristina Riska: Canopic, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
2020    Fysis, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
2018    Kristina Riska, Hostler Burrows, New York, USA
            Kristina Riska: New Works, Galleri Format, Oslo, Norway
            The Line, Lokal, Helsinki, Finland
2015    Kristina Riska: New Work, Hostler Burrows, New York, USA
2014    Six Women, Hostler Burrows, New York, USA
2012    Arabia 9th Floor, Arabia Art Department, Helsinki, Finland
2011    Kristina Riska, Gallery Angelo Oy, Pori, Finland
            Gallery För Bord Dukning, Copenhagen, Denmark
2010    Gallery Inger Molin, Stockholm, Sweden
            Westerwald Ceramic Museum, Germany
            Fire and Ice: Ceramic Art from Finland, Gallery Marianne Heller, Heidelberg, Germany
2009    Collection Exhibition, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland
            Arabia Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
            Ceramic Museum Grimmeshus, Denmark
2008    Gallery Oljemark, Helsinki
            Gallery Kaj Forsblom, Helsinki
            Musée Des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
2007    4+ Arthall, Luxembourg
            4+ Arthall, Brussels, Belgium
            Gallery Inger Molin, Stockholm, Sweden
            Forum Box, Helsinki
2006    Kristina Riska, Helsinki Design Museum, Finland
            Transformations, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
2005    Schikaragi, Japan
            Paula Winokur, Margaret West, Kristina Riska, Helsinki Design Museum, Finland
2004    European Ceramics, Fiskars Village, Finland
            Q-exhibition, Fiskars Village, Finland
            Matter and Spirit, Jyväskylä, Finland
            Kristina Riska, Kati Tuominen-Niittylä, Erna Aaltonen, Gallery Philippe Denys, Brussels, Belgium
2003    Nordic Cool, The Kennedy Center, Washington, USA
            Q-exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
2002    The International Ceramics Exhibition, Mino, Japan
            Arabia Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
            Poetics of Clay, Helsinki Design Museum, Finland
2001    Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Cheongju, Korea
            Poetics of Clay, Philadelphia, USA
            Kristina Riska and Dörte Behm, Rheine, Germany
2000    Blue, Scandinavian Exhibition, Grimmehus Ceramic Museum, Denmark
            Nordic Ceramic Triennale, Berlin, Germany
            Retretti Art Center, Punkaharju, Finland
            Kristina Riska and Tiina Heiska, Gallery Johan S., Helsinki, Finland

1999    Lahti Art Museum, Finland
1998    Finnish Design, Design Forum, Helsinki, Finland
1997    Five Women, Design Forum, Helsinki, Finland
1996    Kristina Riska, Arabia Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
1993    Ceramic Art, Lappeenranta Art Museum, Finland
            Different, Museum of Modern Art, Helsinki, Finland
1992    Art and Industry, Helsinki Design Museum, Finland
1991    Thoughts in Clay, Gallery Pictor, Vihti, Finland
            Ceramic Art, Lappeenranta Art Museum, Finland
            Designers Under the Spotlight, Kaapelihalli, Helsinki, Finland
            Kristina Riska and Kimmo Friman, Gallery Kluuvi, Helsinki, Finland
1990    Three Ceramics, Gallery Johan S., Porvoo, Finland
            Helsinki Design Museum, Finland
1989    Thirteen Rooms, Gallery Wanha Satama, Helsinki, Finland
1988    Touch, Helsinki Kunsthalle, Finland
1987    Light and Matter, City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
            Metaxis, Design Museum, Helsinki, Finland
            Kristina Riska: Fragile Time, Arabia Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
1986    Gallery Bronda, Helsinki, Finland
            Arabia Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
1985    Arabia Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
1984    Design Museum, Helsinki, Finland

2008    Honorary Award, Mino, Japan
2007    Finnish Cultural Foundation
2006    The State of Finland Art Commissions
2003    Finnish Cultural Foundation
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

2010    Visiting teacher, University of Illinois School of Architecture, USA
            Designed an Installation at Kuopio Prison, Finland
2005    Public commission at Kamppi metro station, together with Kati Tuominen Niittylä and Pekka Paikkari, Finland
            Designed the KoKo table setting for Arabia, together with Kati Tuominen-Niittylä
2004    Public commission: Northern Latitude at Olympic Park, Athens, Greece
1993    Visiting teacher at Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden

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

Arabia Art Department Society
Finnish Art Association
Ornamo Art and Design Finland
AIC/IAC International Academy for Ceramics

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