Art Works by Oiva Toikka

1st - 30th September 2010

Art Works by Oiva Toikka - a jubileum collection.

This year Oiva Toikka, artist and professor, celebrates his fiftieth year as an Iittala designer. During this special year, the new Art Works collection, which Toikka has designed for Iittala, will be unveiled at Vessel as Part of London Design Festival 2010. Each of these collections is the creative output of an individual designer, specially commissioned by Iittala. Art Works seamlessly merges the artist's vision with the professional skill of the Nuutajärvi factory glassblowers.

Toikka's imaginative use of colours and various glass techniques is particularly well showcased in Iittala's Birds by Toikka collection, which has gained huge international recognition. The artist's mischievous demeanour and expressiveness are reflected in the characters of the glass birds as well as in his remarkable stage designs for theatre and opera. The new Art Works collection includes references to Toikka's past creations. Toikka describes his subject matter as “revivalist”. His creative work involves developing old techniques to a completely new level. ”Renewed inspiration – I wanted to refine the techniques and explore the new opportunities that they offer,” explains Toikka. The 2010 Art Works collection includes works that, through their names, illustrate the importance of a story within the creative process. They are also a manifestation of Toikka's energetic humour. All of the works' Finnish names begin with the letter 'L': Liplatus, Loilotus, Lehto, Lumilinna, Lähde, Luola and Latina I, II and III. ”The names of all calves born in the same year begin with the same letter – this is also true of these art glass objects,” says Toikka with a laugh.

The range of colours present in Oiva Toikka's Art Works pieces is extensive. The artist is unafraid of colour, but in this collection he also introduces clear pieces and different shades of white, for example, in the Lumilinna works, whose idea derives from the Pampula vases. Along with the Lollipop sculptures, they are a manifestation of the abundance of colour and richness of form found in Pop Art at the end of the1960s. Rather than continuing to play with rich colours, in the Art Works collection objects are presented with a clear or white matt surface. According to the artist, the character of white glass is reflected in the production technique. ”It's great to work with white glass, but it is difficult to control. It is more humble than normal glass; it can break suddenly and the shape is lost,” Toikka explains. When asked about his favourite piece in the collections over the years, the Master of Glass replies without hesitation: ”The latest works are the most interesting, because they are not yet complete. As a material, glass wants to contribute. It always has a mind of its own, and it's worth listening to what it says. It has a lot to give.

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