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Kristina Riska - Artists + Designers - Hostler Burrows

Kristina Riska (b. 1960, Finland) 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.

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 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.

Riska’s 1986 exhibition at the Gallery Bronda included a series of vessels so large that even their installation proved difficult, impressing the State Art Collection, which purchased two works from the show; this began a career in which she has been well-recognized in her home country and abroad and has exhibited in many contexts and venues, including in 1991 in a joint exhibition with the architect Kimmo Friman. Riska’s curvaceous, imbricated, porous forms have been 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

1979-84           University of Applied Arts, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

2022   Hidden, HB381, New York, USA
2021   Kristina Riska: Canopic, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
2020   Fysis, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
2019   Collect Fair, Hostler Burrows, London, UK
2018   Kristina Riska: New Works, Galleri Format, Oslo, Norway
           Kristina Riska, Hostler Burrows, New York, USA
2015   Kristina Riska: New Work, Hostler Burrows, New York, USA
2010   Gallery Inger Molin, Stockholm, Sweden
2007   Gallery Inger Molin, Stockholm, Sweden
2006   Kristina Riska, Helsinki Design Museum, Finland
1996   Kristina Riska, Arabia Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
1987   Kristina Riska: Fragile Time, Arabia Gallery, Helsinki, Finland

2023   Narrative Threads, Scandinavia House, New York, NY, USA
           Northern Latitude 60.20890: The Arabia Art Department Society’s 20th
                anniversary exhibition
, Iittala & Arabia Design Centre, Helsinki, Finland
2022   Collection Kakkonen, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland
2019   The Secret of the Paradise, Arabia Design Centre, Helsinki
           Opening Exhibition, Ceramic Museum Kwum, Fiskars Village, Finland
2018   Verynice, Bloodygood, Gallery Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
2017   Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden
2016   Summer Exhibition, Fiskars Village, Finland
2015   Finland Embassy in Washington DC, USA
2014   Six Women, Hostler Burrows, New York, USA
2010   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
           Ceramic Museum Grimmerhus, Denmark
2008   Gallery Kaj Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
           Musée Des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
2007   Forum Box, Helsinki, Finland
           4+ Arthall, Luxembourg
           4+ Arthall, Brussels, Belgium
2006   Transformations, Canberra, Australia
2005   Shigaraaki Ceramic Park, Koka, Japan
2004   European Ceramics, Fiskars Village, Finland
           Q-exhibition, Fiskars Village, Finland
           Kristina Riska, Kati Tuominen-Niittylä, Erna Aaltonen, Gallery Philippe Denys,
                Brussels, Belgium
2003   Nordic Cool, The Kennedy Center, Washington DC, USA
           Q-exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
2002   Poetics of Clay, Design Museum, Helsinki, Finland
           The International Ceramics Exhibition, Mino, Japan

2001   Poetics of Clay, Philadelphia, USA
           Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Cheongju, South Korea
           Kristina Riska and Dörte Behm, Rheine, Germany
2000   Kristina Riska and Tiina Heiska, Gallery Johan S., Helsinki, Finland
           Retretti Art Center, Punkaharju, Finland
           Blue, Scandinavian Exhibition, Grimmehus Ceramic Museum, Denmark
           Nordic Ceramic Triennale, Berlin, Germany
1997    Five Women, Design Forum, Helsinki, Finland
1995   Rauma Art Musuem, Rauma, Finland
1993   Ceramic Art, Lappeenranta Art Museum, Finland
1992   Art and Industry, Design Museum, Finland
1991   Ceramic Art, Lappeenranta Art Museum, Finland
           Kristina Riska and Kimmo Friman, Gallery Kluuvi, Helsinki, Finland
1990   Helsinki Design Museum, Helsinki, Finland
1989   Thirteen Rooms, Gallery Wanha Satama, Helsinki, Finland
1988   The Touch, Art Hall, Helsinki, Finland
1987   Metaxis, Design Museum, Helsinki
           Light and Material, Helsinki Art Museum, Finland
1986   Finnish Materials, Gallery Bronda, 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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