Culture in Iceland this summer | Part II
Now that you’ve checked out where to go on your road trip here, let’s have a look at what’s going on in the capital area. There’s a ton of exciting cultural options for you to check out, should you decide a stay-cation is more your style. Just keep reading below.
THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ICELAND:
Berlinde de Bruyckere
21. 05. 2016 – 04.09. 2016
Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruyckere’s drawings and sculptures start as true-to-life anatomical studies, shaped by the traditions of the Flemish and German Renaissance which have had a profound influence on the artist’s work, as much as by her own imagination and poetic sensibility.
07.05.2016 – 11.09.2016
In the exhibition LIGHTPAINT an attempt is made to study various aspects of paintings in photos of Icelandic contemporary art. Tradition maintains that artistic media are perfectly distinct and unique in nature and constitution. Nevertheless the marriage of photography and painting has always been complex and it is never easy to gather how ideas and influences entwine in the presentation of reality in each medium. Photography and painting are often defined as opposition by references to difference in nature, but what seems to characterize the relationship of these media in our times is their impossibility of assuming supremacy. Their limits and disposition merge when the painting emerges in the photo and dissipates along with it.
The rythm of Geysers
17.06.2016 – 11.09.2016
THE RHYTHM OF GEYSERS, an interactive video installation, brings to the foreground the musical diversity of the geothermal site. The visitor’s participation is needed for the evolution of the works on display. By participating, the user creates his/her personal experience of the visual and sound composition of the geysers. The experience of the one participating is similar to playing an instrument or rather conducting different musicians playing different instruments. The different geysers are the musical instruments of this work and the musical harmony is created by the different rhythm and pitches reached at different stages of an eruption. “The Rhythm of Geysers” is a poem dedicated to the earth in form of 36 videos and an interactive floorpiece that contains 9 pressure sensors.
THE REYKJAVÍK ART MUSEUM:
KINGDOM – Flora, Fauna, Fable
28.05.2016 – 18.09.2016
How is the relation of contemporary art to nature? From the beginning, art history has reflected human interest in the earth´s biota, but in recent times, people´s attitudes towards it have undergone a radical change. Scientific discoveries have gained us more insight into the smallest living units as well as the interaction between complicated ecosystems, and thus overthrown antiquated and accepted ideas. The prevailing idea of man as a dominant being, and other forms of life different from and inferior to him, has given way to the knowledge that all life is based on the same foundation. In spite of this, man does not seem inclined to give up manipulating life for his own ends. Increased knowledge constantly raises new questions, but also leaves room for uncertainty, faith and hope (or fear) of new discoveries around the corner.
Disruption – Ásmundur Sveinsson & Elín Hansdóttir
16.04.2016 – 09.10.2016
It often falls to artists to challenge old and stagnant attitudes. Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982) spoke of trying to make people “aware that they are not just mindless beasts.” According to Elín Hansdóttir (b. 1980), art should “cut the ground from beneath your feet and make you re-evaluate your rigid ideas.” In Disruption, Elín takes on Ásmundur´s artworks, searching for new viewpoints. Elín and Ásmundur work with perspective in different ways, he uses his material to capture the form, while she redefines the space. The contrast between Elín´s recent work and Ásmundur´s heritage opens up a new world for the viewer. Their generations are wildly incompatible which creates interesting tension, although they also have some powerful attributes in common.
Jóhannes S. Kjarval – Mind and world
05.02.2016 – 21.08.2016
Kjarvalsstaðir has been reopened after refurbishment with an extensive exhibition of the work of Jóhannes S. Kjarval in both East and West galleries of the venue. The exhibition comprises two parts: the principal content will be rarely-seen works from the unique private collection of Þorvaldur Guðmundsson (1911-98) and his wife Ingibjörg Guðmundsdóttir (1908-2004), which are preserved at Gerðarsafn and are shown alongside pieces from the Reykjavík Art Museum’s own collection.
Arnfinnur Amazeen – Subselves mean well
12.05.2016 – 07.08.2016
Arnfinnur Amazeen (b. 1977) is the third artist to exhibit in Gallery D in the year 2016. In his practice he examines the monotonous round of everyday life and the contradictory role of the person within.
15.07.2016 – 13.08.2016
The artists exhibiting in ROTATION represent the generative quality of material information, while embracing differing ideologies. Working from raw material and taking it through the artistic process is to translate it outward from the center. The translation of material from one state to another still adheres to the invariant properties of the material be it lava rock, steel, wood, ink, or forms of plastic. Through various methods of production, these works emphasize the way in which material transformation is a rotation out from a center of invariance.
09.06.2016 – 06.08.2016
Callum Innes’s approach to the canvas, through his method of subtraction, has prompted the term “unpainting”, a coinage the painter is at ease with. And it is true that the artist is in many ways dissolving an image that is already in his head. The inspiration or subject matter can be quite mundane; headlines of the day, the reading material of the previous night – but a clear image all the same. However, the appearance of clean, precise paintings should not promote the illusion that the process is not chaotic – there is indeed chaos in the handling of the omnipresent black. Striving for beauty can be a messy affair.
Anna Rún Tryggvadóttir – Kvikefni
All around us transformations are constantly taking place. Material ages, material erodes and one material becomes another. A constant becomes liquid and later evaporates, leaving behind traces of something that once was. Widely one can detect the remnants of the chaos and flow that surrounds us. With transformation comes uncertainty. The exhibition consists of watercolors and a sculpture that will transform during the exhibition period. The title of the exhibition, Fluidity, references the process of the images that draw their own narrative. The story is ambiguous and the artist strives to mediate the experience of non-linear time.
Gabríela Friðriksdóttir – The Inner Life of a Hay Bale
21.05.2016 – 27.08.2016
Gallery GAMMA hosts an exhibition of new work by Gabríela Friðriksdóttir. Gabríela has often explored microcosmic worlds on the edge of nature and imagination, worlds inhabited by strange fantastic creatures, where life is born from nothing and flourishes just outside the range of our senses. A simple bale of hay is in fact an entire ecosystem where all sort of critters are born, multiply and die. The eternal and all-embracing life of nature is, for the most part, normally hidden to our senses, and therefore informs the fantastic world of the mind and the subconscious, of myth and legend, the world that we can only visit in our dreams.
Eva Ísleifsdóttir & Sindri Leifsson – Sculpture/Sculpture
26.08.2016 – 16.10.2016
SCULPTURE / SCULPTURE is a series of solo exhibitions that test the sculpture as a medium in Icelandic art today. Sindri Leifsson and Eva Ísleifsdóttir are fresh and upcoming artists of the new generation of artists in Iceland. The title of the exhibition series refers to the exhibition Sculpture/sculpture/sculpture that was displayed in Kjarvalsstaðir Reykjavík Art Museum in 1994 with works by 27 Icelandic sculptors.
Traces of water
27.05.2016 – 21.08.2016
Hafnarborg’s summer exhibition is a group show of six artists that all work with some form of water in their works where color, water and its evaporation is among subjects.
THE LIVING ART MUSEUM:
101 Questions to Women
19.04.2016 – 21.08.2016
The exhibition 101 Questions to Women is the third of the series Women in Nýló, which aims to shed light on the role of women in the collection and history of the Living Art Museum. The title refers to what has been achieved in the 101 years since Icelandic women were allowed to vote in 1915 and/or what has been achieved since.
17.06.2016 – Throughout summer
Codependency is an exhibition series by Icelandic artist and curator Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir, focusing on the younger generation of artists in Iceland. With frequent openings, the program started on June 17th and has since been building up each week, with more and more artists joining in with their art. An experimental and exciting approach to curating, where the artists have to work by certain guidelines while being free to do what they please.
WIND AND WEATHER WINDOW GALLERY:
Christopher Hickey – Morpho-Logic
The aim of the window gallery is to connect art in the urban setting of Reykjavik with the people on the street. The exhibitions change every one and two months and focus mainly on local contemporary artists that are interested in creating site specific mixed media installations. Make sure to check it out if you’re in the area.
Völundur Draumland Björnsson – Draumland (Dreamland)
20.07.2016 – 03.08.2016
Völundur Draumland Björnsson was born in 1936 in Reykjavík and used to reside in the house the gallery is in throughout his life. His works reflect a strong sense of social consciousness, are often political and portray a strong authorship. He passed away in 2012 and this opening is one the first in a series by the gallery of portraying his life’s work.