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Curated by Curated by Marlee Choo and Melanie Egan
September 22, 2018 – June 2, 2019West Vitrines
Nordic glass was at a high point in the mid-20th century. Famous glass factories like Orrefors, Iittala, Holmegaard and Kosta Boda; and designers such as Tapio Wirkkala and Alvar Aalto were synonymous with good design and refined taste. This heyday created distinctive identities for all four countries—Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland—and collectively added to the Scandinavian Modern aesthetic.
Sadly, few of the glass factories remain due to market pressures and outsourcing. However, these economic realities have not lessened the association of well-designed and crafted glass within Nordic countries. The situation has given rise to a bright new generation of glass artists and designers; ones with independent spirits focused on self-expression, experimentation and entrepreneurship.
This exhibition highlights a group of glass artists shaping the future of Nordic glass for the 21st century.
Part of NORDEN: The Festival of Cool – November 24 through December 2
Evelina Dovsten began blowing glass at the age of 15 and studied at Sankt Eskils Gymnasium. During a 10-year period, she worked at glass studios in Sweden, Japan, Denmark, Austria and Scotland. She completed her BFA (Ceramic & Glass) at Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden. She is currently completing her MFA (Ceramics & Glass) at the same university. In her work, Dovsten touches upon craftsmanship as a conceptual subject. It involves the body and the place of craftsmanship in it: the body knows more than what can be described theoretically and even understood.
Kristin Larsson completed her BFA at Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden. She started to work with glass at the age of 14 and has worked for several glass artists in Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and the US. Larsson’s roots as an artist and glassblower are in the Scandinavian studio glass culture and her work is often ironic and playful, with feminist undertones. She’s interested in norms, social codes, hierarchies and status in both the world of glassblowing and in society.
Bjorn Fribørg received his BA (Glass and Ceramics) from the Royal Danish Academy’s School of Design, Bornholm, in 2014 and studied at the Kosta Glass School, graduating in 2006.
Mervi Haapakoski is a glass artist from Finland, presently making her home in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, after living in Toronto for 20 years. She received her MA from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Finland. She has also completed studies at Sheridan College School of Craft and Design and is an alumna of the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre. Haapakoski’s commissions include custom chandeliers, sculptural installations and unique lighting fixtures for public places and private residencies. She is also known for her misshapen tumblers and her one-ofa- kind vibrant glass vessels.
Renata Jakowleff is a Hungarian-born glass artist living and working in Helsinki, Finland. Jakowleff creates work that express emotions through associations aroused by the material. The diverse language of glass has been her focus for more than ten years. Jakowleff’s work can be seen worldwide in exhibitions, competitions and fairs devoted to glass, craft and contemporary art. Her works are included in public and private art collections, and are shown internationally in galleries and museums. Besides her work in glass, Jakowleff is also the inventor and designer of Muotobetoni, a new technique to create three dimensional patterns and textures in concrete, used in the precast concrete industry.
Sini Majuri, MA, lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Her mouth-blown glass sculptures have appeared in exhibitions in New York, Tokyo, New Mexico, Toronto, Venice and Hong Kong. Majuri often combines glass with storytelling and comic strip-influenced expression. She has also designed a 500-piece studio glass collection, Jungle, for Netherlandic DutZ Collection. Her art has been featured in various international publications, including Designboom, Elle and Urban Glass.
Auli Rautiainen is a Finnish-born glass artist. She graduated with an MFA from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Finland. She has studied glass design, glass blowing and kiln techniques in Italy, Sweden, Canada and the US. Rautiainen is an alumna of the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre. After returning to Finland she founded the Glass Design Department at Kuopio Academy of Design. Currently she is the senior lecturer in Glass Design at the HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland. In recent years Rautiainen has expanded her glass art into kiln-formed glass. Use of playful colors and patterns is still the signature feature in her work. Her glass has been exhibited worldwide, and she has received awards and grants for her unique glass works and designs throughout her career.
Kirsten Vikingstad Storesund was born in Haugesund, Norway, in 1988. She started working with glass in 2008 at the National School of Glass in Orrefors, Sweden. Storesund then continued her training in glassblowing at Klart Glass in Norway, before she was accepted to the Royal Danish Academy’s School of Design, Bornholm in 2013. Storesund graduated with a BA (Glass Design), and now runs her own studio, Formbar Glassverksted, together with two colleagues in Haugesund, Norway.
Ida Wieth was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1983. She studied glassblowing at Kosta Glass School in Sweden. In 2009 she received her MFA (Glass) from Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. She works with glass and ceramics (and occasionally wood, concrete and metal) to bring forth artistic and aesthetic innovation. Ida Wieth combines the artistically poetic with the tangible knowledge of materials and techniques of the artisan in a highly expressive and emotional manner. Her work has been shown in Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, Japan, the US, and now Canada.