Art is at the heart of Iceland’s dynamic culture. Throughout history, Icelanders have been regarded as innovative and gifted creators, from sculpture and painting to composing and acting.
Learn more about Icelandic art, culture, and history with our exclusive series featuring artists and museum directors throughout Iceland.
Episode 1: The Old Masters
Harpa Þórsdóttir, Director of the National Gallery
In the series’ first episode, Harpa Þórsdóttir, Director of the National Gallery of Iceland, leads the audience on a tour of the historic National Gallery. Founded in 1884, the museum owns the most valuable collection of works by Icelandic artists in the country! The museum’s main emphasis is on 20th and 21st century Icelandic art, but international art is featured as well. During the episode, Þórsdóttir makes note of important paintings in Iceland’s history and discusses the history of Icelandic art masters and their contributions to Icelandic art and culture.
Episode 2: Contemporary
Ólöf K. Sigurðardóttir, Director of the Reykjavík Art Museum
To provide audiences a glimpse into the future of Icelandic art, the second episode features the contemporary art scene in Iceland. Ólöf K. Sigurðardóttir, Director of the Reykjavík Art Museum, shows some of the museum’s contemporary pieces, interviews contemporary artists, and highlights up and coming artists in the Icelandic art scene. This episode is a must-watch for lovers of contemporary art.
Episode 3: Episode 3: Artist Run Scene (Disruptions/Rebels)
Dorothée Kirch, Director of Nýló (The Living Art Museum)
In the third episode of the series, experience the magic of Nýló (The Living Art Museum), a not-for-profit, artist-run museum and exhibition platform for innovative and experimental contemporary art in Reykjavík, Iceland. Run entirely by artists, The Living Art Museum is committed to presenting, collecting and preserving works by Icelandic and international artists and engaging with the discourse on contemporary art practices. Join Dorothée Kirch, director of the museum, for a discussion of Nýló’s unique history: from its rebellious founding by artists in the seventies as a response to other museums not buying their works to its modern mission of showcasing Icelandic artists.
Episode 4: Export to North America – Galleries in Reykjavik and Their Work Abroad
Börkur Arnarsson, Director of i8 Gallery
In this final episode, explore art galleries in Reykjavík and their work in North America. Learn about i8 Gallery, a 25-year-old gallery with artistic representation from 23 Icelandic and international artists. For the past 15 years, the gallery has focused on sharing its art in North America through participation in art fairs such as Armory Show in NY and Art Basel in Miami. In addition, explore BERG Contemporary, a newly established gallery aiming to provide a diversified forum for contemporary art and Hverfisgallerí, a commercial gallery, established in 2013, which represents a range of 13 contemporary artists at present.
Panel Discussion – Icelandic Art: Artists and Influences
An online discussion on the uniqueness of Icelandic Art and Artists and the major influences at work. The talk is between Markus Thor Andresson, chief curator at the Reykjavík Art Museum and Tina Rivers Ryan, curator at the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo NY and Gregory Volk a renowned art critic and freelance curator.
The discussion succeeds the screening of the short video series The Creative Arts in Iceland.