Textured square tile with a black border and a loosely organized black and white checkerboard pattern in the middle
Catalog #: 
Subject Matter: 

Medium: Clay
Size: 18 1/4 x 18 1/4 in.
Location: Inside 103 LC
Donor: Donated by E.F. Lindquist; conservation and exhibition generously supported by Professor Emeritus H. Dee and Myrene Hoover.

About the Artwork

This wall hanging from c. 1965 uses contrasting colors and geometric shapes to produce a visually stimulating and texturally rich composition. Although not connected to the Op Art movement of the 1960s, Bryk seems to have borrowed some of the principles from it, such as bold shapes and colors. These features are also prominent in art of India and Southeast Asia, in which Bryk was interested.

While this wall hanging measures a modest 18 ¼ inches square, some of Bryk’s large pieces have been integrated into the design of buildings such as the City Hall in Helsinki, the Bank of Finland, and the Presidential Residence in Helsinki.


Guzman, Alissa. "The Great Divide: A Survey of Women in Art and Craft." Hypoallergic (September 28, 2015), http://hyperallergic.com/240234/the-great-divide-a-survey-of-women-in-ar...

Rut Bryk, http://www.wirkkalabryk.fi/rb/Rut_Bryk_ENG/Rut_Bryk.html

"Rut Bryk (1916-1999) Art Potter." Designed in Finland, http://www.designed-in-finland.com/studio_bryk.php

"Rut Bryk Monumental Wall Relief," LAMA Blog, Los Angeles Modern Auctions (September 27, 2013), https://lamodern.com/2013/09/rut-bryk-monumental-wall-relief/

Non-Objective, Geometric Shapes, Op Art, Ceramics

More about Rut Bryk

b. Sweden; lived in Finland

Rut Bryk was born in Stockholm in 1916. She studied graphic design at the Central School of Industrial Crafts (Taideteollisuukeskuskoulu) in Helsinki from 1936 to 1937. Her early work included illustrated books and postcards featuring nature, animals, and architecture. Adept in a variety of media, she also designed tableware for Tapio Wirkkala and textiles for Vaasan Puuvilla-Finlayson, but she is primarily known as a ceramic artist.

Bryk received numerous award during her career ranging from the Finnish State Design Prize in 1974 to the Commandeur d l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) in 1980. In addition, Helsinki University made her an honorary doctor of philosophy in 1994. In 2015, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City included her work in the exhibition Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today.