PEKKA PAIKKARI (Finnish, b.1960)
Walking on the Ice, 2019
58" H x 46" W
Pekka Paikkari (Finnish, b. 1960) is a Helsinki-based ceramic artist renowned primarily for his large-scale wall sculptures, unique objects, and versatile utility ware, and monumental public installations. Using clay as his primary material, Pekkari’s works blur the lines between fine art, design, and traditional craft. His expert use of the medium provides enigmatic imagery creating an analogy for both the human condition–displaying great strength and fragility in equal measure–as well as the passing of time registering as either permanent and ever-evolving, or ephemeral. Paikkari has made a thorough study of the technical properties of clay and employees in evocative ways. For instance, he developed a unique technique for drying clay. Although the web-like, fractured surface of dried clay is the outcome of a natural process, the artist controls it in order to obtain the desired pattern. Only then are the clay elements fired in the kiln. The process could be described as controlled chaos.
Paikkari studied at the Kuopio Academy of Handicrafts and Industrial Design and has been a member of the Arabia Art Department Society since 1983. His work is included in many prestigious museum collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Ceramics Museum of Barcelona, and the Shigaraki Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Japan among others.