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Press Release

Hostler Burrows is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Finnish artist Kristina Riska. This will be the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery in New York.  A senior member of the Arabia Art Department Society in Helsinki and one of Scandinavia's foremost contemporary ceramic artists, Riska has been exploring and re-defining ceramic sculpture since the 1980s. Her unconventional works, often monumental in scale, are exceptional examples of the rigorous and physical approach that she takes in her practice.  

With this new body of work, Riska continues her exploration of what is physically possible in the unpredictable medium of clay. She often begins the conceptualization of her works on paper, yet the design ultimately takes shape spontaneously as she works with the material. In this sense, her process is a foray into the unknown; with each unplanned, instinctive manipulation of the clay, she establishes a non - physical “internal” space. Thus we sense a powerful serenity in her work, an energy that emanates from the undulating, fluid curves and organic palette of glazes. These seemingly delicate sculptures belie an amazing structural integrity, achieved through Riska’s consummate skills. 

Riska's most recent life size works were created during her spring / summer 2018 residency at KHiO, the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway.  It was here that the artist was able to make use of the academy’s oversized kilns, further pushing the boundaries of her long-standing hand building technique. Several of the works bear a corporeal presence that plays with notions concerning sensuality and the figure, as well as the spatial connection to one’s surroundings. A peek inside the vessels’ interior walls reveals a landscape of Riska's finger impressions from her meditative hand-coiling, while the external surfaces evoke a range of natural tactile textures - feathered, striated, sometimes with lumpy protrusions. Riska’s craftsmanship is profound given not only the scale of the work, but also the vibrant detailing on each surface and nimble beauty of her glazes.

Born in 1960 in Finland, Kristina Riska currently lives and works in Helsinki. Riska is a graduate of the Department of Ceramic Art at the University of Art and Design, Finland. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the State of Finland’s Suomi Prize in 1995; the Medaglia D’Oro in Faenza, Italy, 1995; a silver medal at the International Ceramic Contest in Mino, Japan, 2002 and an Honorary Award in 2008; and working grants from both The State of Finland and The Finnish Cultural Foundation. Riska’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions worldwide and placed in many public and private collections, including The Design Museum, Helsinki; The Saastamoninen Foundation, Finland; The Ulster Museum in Belfast, Ireland; and the Gifu Museum, Japan, among many others. 


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