An exhibition is presenting an in-depth look into the extensive career of Rut Bryk (1916–1999) who was one of the central figures in Finnish post-war art and design. With her works that convey incredible powerful emotion and intense sensitivity, she was a reformer of modern ceramic art. Her early colourful narrative works were followed by a period monumental works with a strong sense of spatiality and close kinship with architecture.
Rut Bryk exhibition, which is the first time in Japan, is divided into five sections. Most of the 180 exhibits are from the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation Collection, which is deposited at Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Finland.
Venues / organizers :
2019 Apr. – Jun. Tokyo Station Gallery
2019 Sep – Oct. Itami City Museum of Art
2020 Apr. – Jul. Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu
Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation
Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA)
Rut Bryk – pioneer of Finnish ceramic art
Rut Bryk’s passionate and groundbreaking relationship to ceramics as well as her compassionate and warm pictorial world fascinate large audiences. Ceramic as a material provided Rut Bryk the possibility to develop a personal working method that lead to an international career.
Ceramics as a media in arts has undergone a significant rise in value during the 20th century. Rut Bryk was a pioneer of Scandinavian modernism and developer of international ceramic art. Through her art, she has taken part in enabling this change. Ceramics – a technique previously more related to industrial design and crafts – is continuously gaining more ground in contemporary art.
A graphic artist turned ceramic artist
Rut Bryk studied graphic design at the Central School of Industrial Arts during 1936-1939. Soon after graduation she was invited to work at the artistic department of Arabia, where her career lasted for five decades. With ceramics, she started from the beginning – learned techniques, glazes and use of colors. Bryk’s colleague in ARABIA, Finnish ceramic artist Birger Kaipiainen (1915-1988) taught her the scratching technique, which was in her working a natural link to graphic design. Bryk’s success began in the 1940’s and quickly gained international proportions. During her career Bryk moved from small figurative and story-like artworks to large monumental installations and sculptures. She moved from a pictorial colorism to a rhythmic control of form and surface.
Rut Bryk’s art is often considered as a part of Finnish Design history because her works are mainly made from ceramics and she favored a serial working method. Her artworks are however unique and sculptural. She was a pioneer of sculpture and modern visual thinking due to her painting-like use of color and her way of joining artworks and space.