Kristina Madsen was trained in furniture making in 1975-79 by British master craftsman, David Powell, at the Leeds Design Workshop in Easthampton, MA. She was Artist-in-Residence in the School of Art at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania in 1988. Her awards include the New England Foundation for the Arts Regional Fellowship for Visual Artists in 1997; a Fulbright Grant to study woodcarving in Fiji in 1991; and a National Endowment for the Arts Craftsman's Fellowship in 1981.
Madsen’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, MA; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; Fine Arts Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; and the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
“For more than thirty years, I have focused on designing and building furniture of graceful line and elegant proportion, enlivening the surfaces with decorative pattern and texture. First using inlay and fluting to create pattern, I now use a freehand intaglio carving technique that I learned from Fijian master carver Makiti Koto. The shallow incised marks add a visual dimension that is greater than the actual depth of the cuts, this illusion resulting from the light that is cast back from the carved facets. It is this reflected, animating light that constantly intrigues me. Moving around a piece, its shifting angle catches the marks in dynamic and ever-changing ways. Anticipating a certain effect, I am continually surprised that the result is somewhat different than I had imagined. Textiles provide abundant inspiration. The components of the patterns, their layout, their combinations, their color all inform my own design thinking. The carved surfaces of my furniture represent an ongoing study of light and of pattern – pattern I deem to be both unique and universal.” Kristina Madsen