Glass artist Oiva Toikka (1931-2019) fills the corner gallery space with a wondrous medley of organic shapes, aesthetically captivating abstractions, and endearing animal figures. His rich, imaginative, and adventurous glass art beckons us into a fantasy world of surprise and vibrant color. His sculptures set our thoughts racing – do they represent something figurative or do they merely celebrate the inherent qualities of the material and the distinctive forms and decorative details to which it lends itself?
Each work in the exhibition is based on Toikka’s original sketches and produced in Murano in the studio of the acclaimed master Pino Signoretto (1944-2017), where the position of the chief master is today held by Signoretto’s nephew, Martino Signoretto. Surprise and chance are integral features of glass art. Toikka has always embraced and respected this element of surprise – he allows the properties of the material to sing their own song, in full acceptance of the fact that the final result cannot always be controlled. The final form of each sculpture comes as a surprise even to the artist, with chance always playing a significant role in Toikka’s artistic vocabulary.
Viipuri-born Oiva Toikka is a legend in Finnish glass art. In a career spanning five decades, he has worked as a resident designed for prominent brands including Arabia and Nuutajärvi. He is also known for his one-off glass sculptures, which have been exhibited widely both in Finland and internationally.
A graduate of the Helsinki Institute of Industrial Art’s Ceramics and Pedagogics Departments, Toikka has taught at several schools in Finland and at Stockholm’s University of Arts, Crafts, and Design. He has garnered numerous honors and awards, including the Lunning Award, the Kaj Franck Design Prize, the Pro Finlandia Medal, the Helsinki Medal, and the Prince Eugen Medal. The Helsinki University of Art and Design appointed Toikka an art professor in 1993, and in 2003 he was elected as an honorary fellow.
The artist’s share of the exhibition proceeds will be donated to the Nuutajärvi Glass Village Cultural Foundation which will establish a special fund in the name of Oiva Toikka to promote the future of the Finnish glass art.
ON THE PHOTO: Oiva Toikka, Kielo, 2019, Hand blown glass
Gallery name: Galerie Forsblom Helsinki
Address: Yrjönkatu 22, Helsinki
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11:00 - 18:00, Sat-Sun 12:00 - 16:00
Open: 26.04.2019 - 02.06.2019