Erna Aaltonen

The Symphony of Spheres

4 July – 10 September 2015

Erna Aaltonen - céramique contemporaine - Galerie de l'Ancienne Poste

Erna Aaltonen, de g. à d., Globe, h. 29 cm, Linda, h. 39 cm, Olivia, h. 39cm, grès, 2014. Photo : Johnny Korkman

The Galerie de l’Ancienne Poste is delighted to present for the summer of 2015, an exceptional exhibition in France, that of the Finnish ceramist, Erna Aaltonen famous throughout the world for her hand-built spherical sculptures. The minimalist and elegant shapes of her pieces represent, for numerous international collectors, the quintessence of contemporary Finnish aesthetics.  A contention reflected last November, when the artist received Finland’s Grand Prix for Design and again this spring 2015 as she has just received in Italy the gold medal from Faenza’s International Museum of Ceramics, as part of the International Biennale of Ceramics in Faenza. The works of Erna Aaltonen feature in numerous public and private collections in Europe, in the United States, China, Japan and Korea.

A catalogue accompanies the exhibition which is the artist’s first solo show in France.

Pure forms inspired by nature, finely worked surfaces as sober as graphs, subtle nuances of colour which change with the light, both classic and very contemporary, the pieces of Erna Aaltonen (born in Loimaa in 1951) have the elegant sobriety of timeless masterpieces. […]

For Erna Aaltonen, the effects of the material occupy a primordial place and it is this skin of textured clay, finely engraved, incised, striated, scratched (with a metal saw) which gives the work its personality, its sensuality, its mystery.  In a remarkable graphic play the carved lines dance and converge toward the summit of the object infusing it with dynamic movement. […]The ceramist likes pale pastel colours, neither too strong nor too sharp.  Rather soft tones – shades of beiges or greys, ochre, greens and dull blues, as though weathered with time.  Each sculptured object, both strong and fragile, discretely imposes its presence in the space. Everything here is in harmony, the work of Erna Aaltonen immediately seductive is propitious to contemplation – to meditation.

Guillaume Morel
Journalist & Art Critic.
Extracts from the exhibition catalogue, published by the Galerie de l’Ancienne Poste.
Translation, Hillary Gault.

A selection of Erna Aaltonen’s works