Icelandic Art Summer Guide 2018 Part 2
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
17th July – December 16th, 2018
The exhibition Blossoming is about Iceland’s 100 years as a sovereign state. The exhibition title references Halldór Laxness’s novel Independent People and, like that work, the exhibition explores a deep yearning for independence. The exhibition is also about how precious and fragile sovereignty is. During its hundred-year history, the sovereign state of Iceland has faced many adversities with regard to its economic and cultural independence, control over marine resources, nature conservation, and participation and responsibility in international cooperation. Just like a small and hardy flower, sovereignty needs nourishment, and that nourishment includes, amongst other things, exchanging views and sharing the world with other people.
Steina – Pergament
May 18th – December 31st, 2018
In February 2014 Steina spent about a month in Iceland working on a concept for an electronic piece in collaboration with the National Gallery of Iceland and the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. She was given access to Old Icelandic manuscripts in the Institute’s collection, and thus an entirely new side of her work is seen: the sagas, priceless treasures of Iceland’s cultural heritage, are presented in an innovative setting in the form of an electronic work of art. Steina selected a number of manuscripts for her work, and inventively spliced them together so that they flow onwards, twisting and turning and swelling like seaweed caught up in an ocean current. For the first time, literary art and ink-drawing become a theme for Steina, as blood-red capital letters and moth-eaten illuminations float by on a slow, constantly-flowing stream.
Other hats – Icelandic printmaking
May 11th- September 23rd, 2018
The National Gallery of Iceland presents an exhibition highlighting the extraordinary creative impulse and technical craftsmanship found in contemporary Icelandic printmaking. Curated by Ingibjörg Jóhannsdóttir and Pari Stave, the exhibition looks specifically at printmaking as it is practiced in parallel with other means of expression, and includes artists who are writers and composers, as well as visual artists working primarily in painting, sculpture, installation, conceptual art, performance and video.
Other hats – Icelandic printmaking features over 100 prints and multiples by 27 artists, with examples dating from 1957 to the present. The exhibition covers a wide range of printmaking types, from traditional etching and silkscreen to monotype and 3-D printing techniques.
Treasures of a Nation – Selected works from the collection
April 7th, 2017 – December 31st, 2019
In the collection of the National Gallery of Iceland there are over eleven thousand works of various kinds, from various countries and from various periods. In the exhibition Treasures of a Nation a fair selection of works from the collection displays the evolution of art in Iceland from the early nineteenth century to our times. The exhibition features the variety of media and styles distinguishing this short but eventful history. During the first decades, from 1884 to 1911, the collection was exclusively based on the generous donations of foreign artists, mostly Danish and other Scandinavians, but in the early 20th century Icelandic art became more prominent. Today only one of every ten works in the collection of the National Gallery is foreign despite the fact that foreign artists are still slightly more numerous than Icelandic artists.
Safn Ásgríms Jónssonar:
Korriró og Dillidó – Pictures of Folklore and fairy tales by Ásgrímur Jónsson
May 15th – September 15th,2018
Step into magic! The visual world of Icelandic folklore and fairytales created by Ásgrímur Jónsson in his art is a truly enchanted realm. Elves, trolls and ghosts, which had lived a nebulous existence in the Icelandic mind in the semi-darkness of the old turf farmhouse, were given a clear form in Ásgrímur’s art. He first exhibited such pieces in Iceland in 1905.
Ásgrímur’s works on folklore themes were well received; in the press, reviewers expressed delight that the folktale heritage was being addressed, for the first time, by an Icelandic artist. Ásgrímur’s depictions of the appearance of elves and trolls met with widespread approval; hence the artist appears to have succeeded in capturing the way that Icelanders in general imagined such beings.
REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM
Hafnarhús & Kjarvalsstaðir:
No Man‘s Land – Where Beauty Alone Reigns?
June 2nd – September 30th, 2018
Artists have, with their art, greatly influenced man´s connection to his environment. This exhibition focuses on the values of Icelanders in relation to nature and the connection to country’s wilderness.
To Icelanders, land has traditionally meant anything from a subjective symbol to the means to material gains. The artwork on show reflect these different ideas as interpreted by different artists at different times.
The exhibition is a part of Reykjavík Art Festival 2018.
Ásmundur Sveinsson: Art for the People
May 20th – December 31st, 2018
Retrospective on the works of Ásmundur Sveinsson.
The sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson was born in 1893 and died nearly ninety years later, in 1982. He lived through some of the most intense times of history; he was born into the poverty of the of an agrarian colony, with most of the population was striving subsistence farming, but when he died Icelanders had become one of the richest nations of the world, and the country had long ago become a republic with active democracy.
Invasion II: Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter
April 24th – August 12th, 2018
The work of Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter is at once romantic, silly, funny and beautiful. She has experimented with opposites, delicate materials and crafts, as well as clutter and bizarreness.
In 2018, four incursions are planned into the exhibition Art for the People in Ásmundarsafn, where the sculptor´s work is examined from the viewpoint of different periods in his career. Some of his pieces will be replaced with the work of practising artists.
THE LIVING ART MUSEUM
– Marshall house
Pressure of the Deep
June 7th – August 12th, 2018
It is with great pleasure that the board of The Living Art Museum invites you to the opening of the museum’s 40th anniversary exhibition -Pressure of the Deep – on Thursday June 7th, at 6pm.
The Living Art museum was founded in 1978 by artists and is today, one of the oldest artist-run museums and exhibitions spaces with a collection. The collection holds over 2000 works, along with maintaining archives such as the archive of performance art and of artist-run initiatives in Iceland.
KLING & BANG
– Marshall house
Fritz Hendrik – Routine Dream
June 30th – August 19th, 2018
Fritz Hendrik is an Icelandic artist currently living in Reykjavík, graduating from the Iceland Art Academy in 2016. Fritz Hendrik is interested in the act of both the conscious and unconscious staging in life, art and culture. Fritz also tackles the relationship between tradition, perception and knowledge in his works. What do we know, how do we know it and what are we looking at?
In his work he explores these subjects through different fictional strategies, e.g. in close collaboration with the fictional scholar and theorist Fræðimaðurinn (e. The Scholar) who is an expert in looking at the world through the ‘Grey veil’ as he calls it, revealing the more grey and poetic aspects of life.
June 30th – August 19th, 2018
Artists: Arnar Ásgeirsson, Bergur Ebbi, Dagrún Aðalsteinsdóttir, Hrafnhildur Helgadóttir, Sæmundur Þór Helgason, Félag Borgara.
“When does the amateur become professional?”
“What creates a professional?”
When it comes to art-making, what determines who is deemed professional?
Among the many acts and ways of making art, the idea of the ‘professional’ artist seems to be that of an individual who is able to create value acknowledged both culturally and economically, whose actions and works are validated by institutions within society. In this context, the amateur is an individual fuelled by passion and interest but unable to create cultural or economic value on a societally significant scale. The divide between the two is neither clear nor permanent; it can go and has gone through endless variations and modulations with time: they are two extremes between which individuals who partake in cultural production find themselves.
STUDIO ÓLAFUR ELÍASSON
– Marshall house
Ólafur Elíasson’s new satellite studio in Iceland is open to the public at the Marshall house located in the Grandi area. It is a home to a collection of artwork by the artist.
Ignacio Uriarte – Divisions and Reflections
May 30th – August 4th, 2018
i8 Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition Divisions and Reflections by Ignacio Uriarte. This is the artist’s third solo show with the gallery.
Uriarte’s drawing practice is rooted in a mundane reality, based on small gestures that happen without artistic intention during office hours, for instance scribbling or drawing straight lines are examples of these gestures. He began his drawing practice in 2005, mostly by making monochromes, trying to fill out a sheet of paper as thoroughly as possible with the results of only one gesture. When he had explored all possible options in regard to monochromes (colour mixes, intensities etc.) he felt the need to move on to shape but wanted to use a formless shape, without any symbolic meaning. He therefore chose the amorphous – a roundish shape drawn without any effort that adapts to the space given by the sheet of paper, in the way that a balloon adapts to the air inside it. As Uriarte uses mostly paper from the DIN-family (A4, A3 etc.), the shapes ended up being irregular ovals (proportional to the rectangular sheets of paper).
Katrín Elvarsdóttir – The Search for Truth
May 11th – August 3rd, 2018
The exhibition at BERG Contemporary is titled The Search for Truth and sees Katrín exploring the blurred limits of imagination and reality and how our memories tend to gradually come free of reality until something in our surroundings – an unexpected texture, a glimpse of something, or a sound – brings the past back to life. In such moments, the past takes over our body and everything becomes clear for a second, before it recedes again to rejoin the narrative of our own life.
Hrafnkell Sigurðsson – UPPLAUSN / RESOLUTION
May 26th – July 28th, 2018
The premise of this work lies in an extremely vague idea, more of a feeling, which was at the same time inscrutable, dark and deep.
This vague notion has to do with a blank surface, some sort of print. What lies down in this deep void? I decided to enlarge a part or a pixel of a photo of the sky. It was easy to take this further, by enlarging a part of a photo taken in deep space from the Hubble telescope, a well-known photo of galaxies the way they looked a few million years ago. An ancient light, the light behind the colours and patterns. A blank space in between the galaxies which has been blown up to peer into the blackness of the sky. The project, and the equipment at hand, offered a parallel to astronomical research of the blank space. Tiny areas, without any discernible forms, were picked and then zoomed in between the pixels. With the aid of photo editing tools it was possible to distinguish particular areas to elicit outlines where none had been visible before. These outlines were then sharpened and saturated, to define colours and shapes.
Gerður – Retrospective
May 31st – October 7th, 2018
A retrospective of Icelandic sculptor, Gerður Helgadóttir (1928–1975). A seminal artist of the twentieth century, Gerður was a pioneer of abstract sculpture in Iceland and created works in stained glass and mosaic. She passed away beyond her years at only 47 years of age.
The exhibition is set up by selected themes, each of which highlight periods of Gerður’s life and artistic practice, in an attempt to represent the artist’s oeuvre. FOUNDATION offers insights into Gerður’s first steps as an art student, a time when her works evolve quickly from traditional academic approaches towards the modernist experimentations of her first years in Paris. STUDIO represents new methods she takes up with her first abstract iron works. WINDOW highlights the period when she works on stained glass windows both in Iceland and on the continent, as well as her increased interest in spiritualism and symbolism. GARDEN refers to the time in Gerður’s life when she returns to formal methods and materials in sculpture. The artist was setting up an exhibition of her work in her garden in France at the time. SPACE showcases Gerður’s last works, projects and ideas, many of them taking space in public places.
- HAFNARFJÖRÐUR ART MUSEUM
Hafnarborg 35/30 – Anniversary Exhibition
June 2nd – August 26th, 2018
This year, Hafnarborg celebrates a double anniversary, as 35 years have now passed since pharmacist Sverrir Magnússon and his wife Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir bequeathed their house at Strandgata 34 to the town of Hafnarfjörður, along with their art collection. Five years later, Hafnarborg was officially inaugurated on May 21st 1988.
Anna Jóelsdóttir, Georg Óskar, Hallgrímur Helgason, Heimir Björgúlfsson, Jón Óskar, Kristinn Már Pálmason, Óli G. Jóhannsson, Steingrímur Gauti, Þórdís Aðalsteinsdóttir, Kristján Davíðsson.
Lignin – Adam Fearon
June 30th – July 22nd, 2018
Lignin is an exhibition of new work that stems from the artist’s long standing interest in the surface as a plane on which representation, identity and intimacy play across. Looking at the surface as both a space and as a material, from screens to paper and, as the word Lignin suggests, the artist here looks at paper specifically and how in the creation of its blank space, a black liquor is extracted from wood pulp: in the formation of images is seepage and runoff, traces and remainders. Lignin representing everything that is removed in order for surfaces to the blank, smooth, self-effacing. The installation is comprised of a number of elements that compliment and interact with each other: screens and meshes, silicon reliefs, paper sculptures, aluminium display structures and interventions directly in the space itself. Printed matter, an artist publication and an essay by the artist are all at the exhibition’s base and centre.
Tunglið er spegill tímans – Arild Tveito
July 28th – August 18th, 2018
This exhibition is a part of ´uns summer project “Print in media, a space to be walked” in Harbinger gallery Reykjavik.
Arild Tveito is an artist whose work resides in the compounding, fracturing and braiding of narratives. He presents material artefacts that suggest complexities of relationships both historic and speculative. In this exhibition, TUNGLIÐ ER SPEGILL TÍMANS the work is a collage of objects, texts and books that relate to a cultural synthesis between Iceland and Norway. A synthesis through which the creation of literature and the act of reading acquire an uncertainty that in part rests on the incommensurable nature of linguistic expression.
July 19th – July 25th, 2018
Artists: Kristín Morthens, Therese Precht Vadum, Þröstur Dosty Valgarðsson, Emilie Mørkeberg Dalum, Claire Paugam, Katla Katla
Sex Self is an exhibition based around the release of MSEA’s new song Sex Self. Themes discussed are a disconnection to one’s sensuality and body.
The video for this song was directed and created by Katerina Blahutova (DVDJ NNS) and Claire Paugam —Together, Claire, MSEA, and Katla have curated this exhibition based around themes and concept of the video and song.
Út – A prayer of freedom – Dario Massarotto
July 17th – July 21st, 2018
What is freedom?
Út is a dream, a little journey on the artist’s personal view of the concept of freedom.
The message that he wants to convey is that as human beings we have several options and paths we can choose in life, and according to the “key” we decide to use, the outcome will be different. Also, it is often we build our own barriers and cages and it is only us who can unlock or destroy them. Freedom to choose, to dare, to make mistakes, to learn, to evolve.
The tension of things unsaid – Letta Shtohryn
July 26th – August 9th, 2018
Letta’s work explores an area between states, between entities, between units and between times. The artist is interested in the space within a point of change from one state to another, in the point of stillness turning into chaos and the area one entity becoming another.
Artist’s research of in-between states also extends to areas such as the balance of truth and myth; asks questions about the real and the artificial; explores the ontological existence of objects and plays with the state between the digital and the tangible; as well as looks for space between comfort and discomfort.
Innfædd / Native – Nina Zurier
July 28 -September 15th, 2018
Nina Zurier’s photographs present a fascination with darkness and light that is as inescapable and inherent to Iceland and its people as it is to the photographic medium. Her high contrast imagery is intimate and sincere, capturing light in darkness and darkness in light. Influences of Daido Moriyama shine brightly through. What is ‘native’ to Iceland, and what does it mean to be ‘innfædd’ to this place? A snapshot into the nature and people of Iceland, Zurier’s works are warm and delicate yet simultaneously coupled with a fierceness, intensity, and directed purpose. Each photograph has a distinct relationship to light, and to darkness, one that is necessarily and emotionally connected to the Icelandic experience. Dark footprints in the icy snow defy any time of day, a stubborn summer sun forces its way through the cracks into a darkened bedroom. Zurier beautifully captures an obsession with light and its counterpart that will forever be intrinsically characteristic to this country.
Skemmtilegs – Baldur Helgason & Patty Spyrakos
July 28th – August 9th, 2018
“Skemmtilegs” is an exhibition of new works by Patty Spyrakos and Baldur Helgason, a diverse array of pieces that include oil paintings and drawings by Baldur and ceramic sculptures by Patty. Mixing together visuals from everyday objects and abstracted figures, the pair is inspired by the intersection between popular culture, socio-moral politics, evolutionary psychology and mysticism.