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Päivi Rintaniemi: Calix

Mar 12, 2021

Kunsthalle Seinäjoki presents Calix by Päivi Rintaniemi. In this solo exhibition, the Finnish artist shows a selection of her monolithic, hand-built ceramic sculptures and delicate supporting works. 

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Text by TLMagazine

Kunsthalle Seinäjoki presents Calix by Päivi Rintaniemi, the first solo exhibition to be set in the new exhibition space of the Hall. Originally from Seinäjoki herself, Rintaniemi creates large ceramic vessels with organic, folded, and split forms. In Latin, the word ‘calix’ means chalice. These sculptures are delicate but striking, like cracked shells or chrysalides. In the artist’s hands, thousands of objects, sculptures, surfaces and shapes have been formed from clay with technical and meditative intention over the decades. “Clay offers an opportunity for meditative work and dialogue…Indeed it also plays its own mystical part in reminding us of past generations”.

Clay, which is often regarded as an unpretentious material, has a strong will of its own. Through this material, the artist processes the quirks, tragedies and joys of the world. The fragile yet stable shape of Rintaniemi’s sculptures allows the audience to focus on the textured, tactile surface and organic, suspended movement. Both powerful yet fragile, the artworks stand as natural monuments. Arranged simply upon black plinths throughout the space, they invoke a tacit understanding of scale and form, contrasting with the smaller, more delicate pieces, many of which have not been exhibited often before. 

As an artist, Rintaniemi draws upon everyday realities. Through research and artistic expression, she reflects upon humanity; what we see in others, and how we can care about each other by perceiving the simplicity and beauty of life through art. “My working methods are very simple and traditional: by hand, using clay and a knife as tools. In some of my works I’ve also used some other materials, such as concrete and wire”. This simplicity is emphasised by the stark scenography of the exhibition, which draws attention to the detailed textures of these hand-built monoliths. The works “tell stories about people and the challenges of being a human, in figures, stylised shapes, and abstract forms”. 

In the exhibition and accompanying program, the background of making art as well as the nature of clay as material will also be unfolded. In parallel to the exhibition, discussions relating to the creation of art and its significance will be held. Rintaniemi invites co-thinkers from various areas of art and life to the Kunsthalle. The exhibition, particularly its material – clay – will also be displayed in other places of the Art and Culture Centre Kalevan Navetta. In addition, Taito Etelä-Pohjanmaa will organise a special ceramics course in cooperation with the Kunsthalle.

Päivi Rintaniemi has had a successful career as an artist in Finland and abroad. She is particularly known for Amfora, a design company that has been producing tableware and utensils since 1986. She was awarded the State Prize for Design in 2008. In 2013, the artist received the main prize of the International Ceramic Art Museum Premio Faenza °58 in Italy. The people of Seinäjoki are familiar with the Big Hug sculpture by Rintaniemi, which welcomes newcomers to the residential area of Pruukinranta.

Calix is on show at Kunsthalle Seinäjoki until 29.05.2021.







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