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Kirsi Kivivirta has since the 1990s mainly produced architectural ceramics, i.e. tiles and sculptures with brick components. On her worktable there are unfired, partly completed tile compositions revealing the special puzzle-like pieces that characterize her work. They are either slipcast in porcelain or rolled in to stoneware slabs. A particular ‘impure’ body which, during the firing, attains an irregular, somewhat pitted surface, is one of Kivivirta’s favorites.
Kirsi Kivivirta embodies sharply opposing traits, a requirement to achieve success in the demanding profession of a ceramist. She is precise, yet free in her expression. She is disciplined but likes to improvise. She is ambitious while able to work on several levels with varied techniques and projects. The hard physical work with clay, a heavy medium, is kept buoyant by her personal view of the material, of ceramic art and a profoundly thought-out basic concept.
“I’m drawn to minimalist art and to minimalism as an idea,” Kirsi explains. “I prefer to let the medium speak for itself; allow the clay to express its nature without any oxide or glaze covering. The most powerful effect is felt when natural materials are combined, for example stone, water and wood.
In Kivivirta’s wall compositions we experience movement and rest, dynamic force and contemplation. She plays with displacement and trompe l’oeil effects as well as distorted perspectives and horizons.
Kirsi Kivivirta has successfully “functioned on several levels.” In addition to participating in pure design and interior design fairs she has produced art for public buildings and executed private commissions including kitchen and bathroom tiles.
Quotation from the article Minimalist Wall Compositions by Åsa Hellman
Ceramics: Art and Perception No. 79 / March 2010
Translated from the original in Swedish by Solveig Williams