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Torbjørn Kvasbø - Artists + Designers - Hostler Burrows

Torbjørn Kvasbø (Norwegian, b. 1953) is an internationally acclaimed ceramic artist, with a career spanning several decades. Kvasbø’s practice challenges and pushes his own personal boundaries, as well as the physical possibilities of the medium. In his ongoing Stacked series, he reimagines the archetypical form of the vessel, creating upwardly spiraling sculptures from stacked tubes of extruded clay, often on a monumental scale. In the artist’s words, “My work process in the medium of clay offers a lot of resistance, and it reveals to me the forces over which I have no control – the incalculable elements of my inner being. My emotions and feelings are physically discharged into the work, and they become actual experiences themselves.” Through this transference of energy into the material, Kvasbø continues in the centuries-old tradition of the artist as alchemist.

Torbjørn Kvasbø lives and works in Venabygd, Norway. He was Head of the Ceramics Department at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden from 1996-2000, and Head of the Ceramic and Glass Department at Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden from 2000-2008. His work has been exhibited extensively, including solo exhibitions at institutions throughout the world. Kvasbø is represented in the permanent collections of Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden; The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway; The National Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim, Norway; The Röhsska Museum, Gothenburg, Sweden; Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu Ceramics-Park Mino, Gifu, Japan; Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Faenza, Italy; Musée National Adrien Dubouché, Limoges, France; Lillehammer Art Museum, Norway; KODE Art Museums of Bergen, Norway; Icheon World Ceramic Center, Icheon, South Korea; and the Auckland Museum Institute, Auckland, New Zealand, among many others.



b. 1953, Norway

1978    Bergen School of Applied Arts (Bergen Academy of Art and Design), Bergen, Norway

2022    Bundles of Energy, CAFA Art Museum, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
2020    Taoxichuan Museum, Jingdezhen, China
2019    GICB2019, South Korea
2018    The Byre, Ringebu Parsonage (Fjøset, Ringebu Prestegard)
2017    The Byre, Ringebu Parsonage (Fjøset, Ringebu Prestegard) Kunsthall Grenland,
            Porsgrunn, Norway
2013    Lillehammer Art Museum, Lillehammer Norway Drammen Art Museum,
            Drammen, Norway
2010    Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, Norway
2009    Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art, Trondheim, Norway
            Gallery Zink, Lillehammer, Norway
2005    Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Oslo, Norway
2004    West Norway Museum of Decorative Arts, Bergen, Norway
            Kunstbanken, Hamar, Norway
2003    Bomuldsfabriken Art Hall, Arendal, Norway
2001    MIC Museum of International Ceramics, Faenza, Italy
            Galerie DM Sarver, Paris, France
            Gallery Inger Molin, Stockholm, Sweden
2000    Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, Norway 1998 Gallery Björnen, Stockholm, Sweden
1997    Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, Denmark
1995    Main Street Gallery, Napa, CA
1994    Leedy-Voulkos Gallery, Kansas City, MO
            The Works Art Festival, Edmonton, Canada
1993    Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, Norway
            Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen, Norway
            Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, Denmark
1992    Hopkins Hall Gallery, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
1991    The Works Art Festival, Edmonton, Canada
1990    Blås och Knåda, Stockholm, Sweden
            National Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim, Norway
1987    Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen, Norway
1986    Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, Norway
1985    National Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim, Norway

1977–2000, 2012 The Annual Exhibition of Norwegian Crafts, Norway

2019    Gallery Format, Nomad Venice, Venice, Italy
            Museum Angewandte Kunst, “House of Norway,” Frankfurt am Main, Germany
            SKMU Kristiansand Officine Saffi, Morfologia delle Meraviglie, Italy
            Porselensmuseet Porsgrunn, Norway
            KODE Bergen, Bergen, Norway
2018    Sevres Ceramic Museum, Sevres, France
            About Clay, Exhibition of European Ceramic Art, Fiskars, Finland
2017    4th Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts, Hubei Museum of Art, Hubei, China
            Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale (GICB2017), South Korea
2016    Geometry of Chaos: Carlo Zauli, Torbjørn Kvasbø, Officine Saffi, Milan, Italy
            The Mode—International Ceramics Art Invitational, Liling Ceramics Valley Museum,
            Liling, China
            Hangzhou International Contemporary Ceramic Art Biennale, Hangzhou, China
            Inspired, The Scandinavian Center/TaoXicuang Museum, Jingdezhen, China
            Modern Masters, International Trade Fair, Munich, Germany
2015    International Wood-Firing Festival, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, Shanghai, China
            Beyond G(l)aze, KODE2, Bergen, Norway
            Transformator, Galleri Format, Oslo, Norway
            Transformator, Hydrogenfabrikken, Fredrikstad, Norway
2014    SOFA Chicago, Chicago, IL
            Transformator, Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, Arendal, Norway
            European Ceramic Context, Bornholm, Denmark
            Attention: Craft, Liljevalchs, Stockholm, Sweden
            Beyond G(l)aze, Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China
2013    Revelations, Grand Palais, Paris, France
2013    Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
2012    Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK 
            Less Colour, Rogaland Art Centre, Stavanger, Norway
2011    Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
2010    Le Cru et le Cuit, Galerie Favardin & De Verneuil, Paris, France
            Clay Energy Gulgong, Masters Exhibition, Cudgegong Gallery, Gulgong, Australia
            Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
            Intonation, Deidesheim, Germany Taiwan
            Ceramics Biennale, Yingge Ceramics Museum, Yingge, New Taipei City, Taiwan
2009    British Ceramic Biennial, Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
            Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Cheongju, South Korea
            Intonation, Deidesheim, Germany Tendenser 2009, Gallery F15, Moss, Norway
2007    Terres Extremes, Maison de la Ceramique Contemporaine, Giroussens, France
            Museu del Càntir d´Argentona, Barcelona, Spain
            Keramik-Museum, Westerwald, Germany
2005    Typical Norwegian?, Vigeland-Museet, Oslo, Norway; Museum für Kunst und
            Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
2005    Strata, Skulpturens Hus, Stockholm, Sweden
2004    Norwegen heute-keramisch, Hetjens-Museum, Düsseldorf, Germany
2003    NOW&NOW, World Ceramic Biennale 2003, Icheon, South Korea
2002    Keramik aus Norwegen, Galerie Handwerk, Munich, Germany
2001    Fifty Years of the Archie Bray Influence, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT
            1st World Ceramic Biennale 2001, Icheon, South Korea
            The 52st Int. Ceramic Art Competition, Faenza, Italy
2000    Ceramic Circus 2000, Les Printemps des Poties, Bandol, France
            Norwegian Alternatives, IADB-Cultural Center, Washington, DC
            Sidney Myer International Ceramic Award, Shepparton Art Museum,
            Shepparton, Australia
1999    The 51st International Ceramic Art Competition, Faenza, Italy
            Norwegian Contemporary Ceramics, Millenium Symposium, Amsterdam,
            The Netherlands
            Different Stokes, Invitational Exhibition, University of Iowa, University Heights, IA
1998    Stars, Galleri Inger Molin, Stockholm, Sweden
            The Fletcher Challenge Award, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland,
            New Zealand
            Ceramic Art 1988–1998, Danmarks Keramikmuseum Grimmerhus, Middelfart, Denmark
            Nordic Ceramic Triennale ’98, The Swedish History Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
            Sweden-Norway-Expo Lära, Västerås Art Museum, Västerås, Sweden
1997    Ceramic Expressionism: Seven Norwegian Ceramicists, Danmarks Keramikmuseum
            Grimmerhus, Middelfart, Denmark
1997    Archie Bray Foundation NCECA, Green Valley Library Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
            The Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, Award of Merit, Auckland War Memorial
            Museum, Auckland, New Zealand
1996    Resident Artist Exhibition, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
            Scandinavian Images, University of Durham, Durham, UK
            Italy-Norway, Centro Esposivito della Rocca Paolina, Perugia, Italy
            Museum voor Sierkunst, Ghent, Belgium
            Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany
            Neue Wege International, Saarländisches Künstlerhaus, Saarbrücken, Germany
            Woodfired Ceramics, Loes and Rainier International Ceramics, Deventer,
            The Netherlands
1995    The Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, Auckland War Memorial Museum,
            Auckland, New Zealand
            Woodstack, The Gallery of Visual Arts, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
            NCECA Clay National ’95, F.R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
1994–1996 Nordic Images, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Oslo, Norway;
            Helsinki Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Helsinki, Finland; Nationalmuseum,
            Stockholm, Sweden; Museum of Decorative Art and Design, Copenhagen, Denmark;
            Röhsska Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Gothenburg, Sweden; West Norway
            Museum of Decorative Art, Bergen, Norway; National Museum of Decorative Arts,
            Trondheim, Norway
1994    Fire Men: Masters of the Anagama Kiln, Leedy-Voulkos Gallery, Kansas City, MO
            The Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland,
            New Zealand
            In Touch, International Contemporary Crafts, part of the Cultural Programme of the
            XVII Olympic Winter Games 1994, Maihaugen, Lillehammer, Norway
1993    Mastermeeting, Ringebu Workshop 1993, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Oslo,
            Pulverturm am Schlosswall, Artothek in der Peterstrasse, Oldenburg, Germany
            The Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, Judges Commendation, Auckland War
            Memorial Museum, Auckland, New Zealand
1992    Hot Clay from Cold Climates, North Project, Art Evo Gallery, Edmonton, Canada
1990–1992 Contemporary Norwegian Ceramics, Touring Exhibition: Keramion, Frechen,
            Germany; Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany; Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig,
            Germany; Polytechnic Gallery, Newcastle, UK; Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth,
            UK; Crafts Council, Dublin, Ireland; Arts Council Gallery, Belfast, Ireland; World Expo,
            Seville, Spain; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; National Museum of Ceramic
            Art, Baltimore, MD
1991    47th Concorso Internazionale della Ceramica d’Arte, Faenza, Italy

2008–2011 External Examiner Royal College of Art, London, UK
2000-2008 Professor and Head of Ceramics & Glass Departement at Konstfack – University
            College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Sweden
1996-2000 Professor and Head of Ceramic Art Departement at HDK – School of Design
            and Crafts, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
1998    Judge of the Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, Auckland, New Zealand
1985    Guest teacher, external examiner for diploma and special subject examinations,
            member of boards, member of appoinment boards for lectures/professors, Oslo,
            National Academy of Arts and Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway

2017    Grand Prize at the Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale (GICB2017), Rep. of Korea
2012    Prize for best art work, The Annual Exhibition of Arts and Crafts 2012, Norway
2010    Janet Mansfield Fellowship Award, Australia
2009    The Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts Honourable Prize
            Ringebu Municipality Culture Prize
2008    Villeroy & Boch Gustavsberg ceramics grant
2001    Silver Prize, 1st World Ceramic Biennale 2001 (GICB2001), Rep. of Korea
1999    Premio Faenza, 1. prize in the 51. Premio Faenza Concorso Internationale, Italy
1997    Embryo 1997, awarded for the best art education in Sweden
            Award of Merit, Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, New Zealand
1995    The Gudbrandsdalen Cultural Award
1993    Judge’s Commendation, Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, New Zealand

Arts Council Norway
Auckland Museum Institute, Auckland, New Zealand
Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO
Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Drammens Museum Dr. Anthony Rucela Collection, Kansas City, MO
Dr. Hans Thiemann Collection, Hamburg, Germany
Icheon World Ceramic Center, Icheon, South Korea
KODE Art Museums of Bergen, Norway
Leedy-Voulkos Gallery, Kansas City, MO
Lillehammer Art Museum, Norway
Lotte Reimers Stiftung Kunstzentrum, Deidesheim, Germany
Maurice Lambiotte Collection, Paris, France
Musée National Adrien Dubouché, Limoges, France
Mr. And Mrs. Inge Münz Collection, Saarbrücken, Germany
Mr. and Mrs. William Van Keppel Collection, Kansas City, MO
Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Faenza, Italy
Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu Ceramics-Park Mino, Gifu, Japan
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden Norges Bank, London, UK
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Oppland County, Norway
Riksgalleriet, The National Touring Exhibitions of Norway
Ringebu Municipality, Norway
The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway
The National Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim, Norway
The Röhsska Museum, Gothenburg, Sweden
Trondheim Municipality, Norway
Swedish Art Council, Sweden
SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiandsand, Norway

2013    Veiteberg, Jorunn and Kerstin Wickman. Torbjørn Kvasbø Ceramics: Between the
            Possible and 
the Impossible, Arnoldsche Art Publishers.
2010    Harrod, Tanya. “The Everyday and the Numinous,” Contemporary British Studio
            Ceramics: The Grainer Collection, redigert av Annie Carlano, pp. 11–30. New
            Haven: Yale University Press.
2008    Battle, Michel. “Terres Extremes,” Ceramics Monthly, Vol. 55, April, pp. 20–22.
2007    Sempere, Emili and Arnold Annen. “Una exposició extraordinària,” Revista Cerámica
            Contemporania, no. 31, pp. 72–75.
            Lambiotte, Maurice and Carole Andrèani. Contemporary Pottery: Collection Maurice
            Lambiotte, Paris: Norma, pp. 134–137.
2004    Dewald, Gabi. “Über das Unbezähmbare,” Keramik Magazin, no. 2, pp. 22–25.
            Veiteberg, Jorunn. “Making the Invisible Visible,” Kunsthåndverk, no. 91, 1/2004,
            pp. 22–23.
            Stensman, Mailis. “Brandens mästare,” Konsthantverk, no. 2, pp. 30–35.
2003    Kvasbø, Torbjørn. Ceramics, catalogue, Arendal: Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall.
2001    Jonson, Lotta. “The Universe of Clay,” Form, no. 4, pp. 62–67.
2000    Dewald, Gabi. “Ich habe keine Angst,” Keramik Magazin, no. 1, pp. 24–30.
            Andreani, Carole. “Torbjørn Kvasbø: Une dramaturgie de l’homme et de la nature,”
            Revue Ceramique et du Verre, no. 113, July/August, pp. 34–39.
            Brühl, Birgit. “Der Norweger Torbjørn Kvasbø,” Neue Keramik, no. 5 Sept/Oct., pp. 270–
            Minogue, Coll and Sanderson, Robert. Wood-fired Ceramics Contemporary Practices,
            London: A & B Black, pp. 78–80.
1999    Veiteberg, Jorunn. “Torbjørn Kvasbø,” Kvasbø, Torbjørn and Veiteberg, Jorunn (eds.), 1999.
            Norwegian Contemporary Ceramics, exhib. cat., Amsterdam under Ceramic Millenium,
            Leadership Congress for the Ceramic Arts, pp. 30–31.
1996    Broadwell, Carolyn. “Torbjørn Kvasbø,” Ceramic Art Magazine, no. 10, pp. 84–89.
1993    Danbolt, Gunnar. “Between Nature and Civilisation. Ceramic Art of Torbjørn Kvasbø,”
            Ceramics: Art & Perception, no. 13, pp. 3–7, 89–91.
1992    Kvasbø, Torbjørn. “Don’t Ever Get a Steady Job,” Ceramics Monthly, April Issue, pp.

2018–2024 President of the International Academy of Ceramics
2014–2020 Vice President of the International Academy of Ceramics
2005–2014 Member of the Council of the IAC
1990    Member of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC)
1978    Norwegian Association of Arts and Crafts

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