Reykjavík
9°C
N

Art

Santiago Sierra, El Degüello or How Much is Enough?

The exhibition "Santiago Sierra, NO, Global Tour" at Hafnarhús, the Reykjavík Art Museum will leave nobody untouched. The socio-political theme in Sierra’s black and white (pretend objective documentary-style) films suffocated me with its hammer-on-the-head message that capitalism is dead. Are we...

The Stillness of Life

The unfriendly winter days made me long for an escape in the soothing company of natural and man-made objects with divine beauty, and contemplate over the mesmerizing elegance of painted flowers and fruits in the exhibition "Kyrralíf” (“Still Life") at Hafnarborg, the Hafnarfjörður Centre of...

The Blond Moments of Endemi

As a frequent visitor to the Kópavogur Art Museum, I’ve come to realize that it is high time to dedicate an art review to their interesting work. The exhibition "Endemis (Ó)sýn: Útgáfusýning í tilefni 2.tölublaðs Endemis" turned out to be a good occasion to do so.

For the Love of Drawing

Even if you are not an artist, there must have been innocent times in your life when holding a pencil was a blissful game, whether you recall those memories or not. The exhibition "Faster and Slower Lines – From the Collection of Pétur Arason and Ragna Róbertsdóttir" at the Reykjavík Art Museum –...

Icelandic Heirloom of Geometric Art

I recommend a visit to the LÁ Art Gallery (Listasafn Árnesinga) in the town of Hveragerdi in south Iceland, just a 40-minute drive from the capital, where the exhibition “Total Pattern” (“Almynstur”) is currently running (on display until December 11, 2011). It is a vibrant colorful feast for the...

Generations of Emerging Grassroots Art

The Living Art Museum hosts the annual "Grassroots IX" exhibition, showcasing the works of young Icelandic artists. This year, the eight participants examine the structures of society, demonstrate environmental awareness, contemplate on the freedom and limitations of today's financial and...

Obscene Sophistication - the Art of Robert Mapplethorpe

Black-and-white, flower, BDSM, gay and portrait are the keywords to describe Robert Mapplethorpe's (1946-1988) photography. If one searches for information about the edgy American artist on the internet, one will discover that these are also the key themes of his career. The i8 Gallery offers a...

Visual Literacy (KNF)

The exhibition “Literacy” at the Living Art Museum is not controversial as the previous ideological “Koddu” which in recent months aroused a heated public discussion, but nevertheless it does challenge conventional ideas about books and art.

In Remembrance of Reykjavík's Past

When I went to see the Karl Christian Nielsen's exhibition “Reykjavík Citizens – Photos from a Working Man” at the Reykjavík Museum of Photography, I wasn't sure whether documentary photography would be proper material for an art review. But the past is a good mirror of who we are and what our...

The Black Heart of a Betrayed Daughter, Louise Bourgeois

Originally, I figured enough articles have been written about the cult French-American installation artist and sculptor Louise Bourgeois, so our readers might rather benefit from reading about a lesser-known artist. But while observing her famed cell and spider works, I felt instant empathy and a...

The Sounds of Life and Death

The exhibitions “Sound Fields” (until May 22) and “Dialogues on Death” (part of the permanent collection; until May 15) at the National Gallery of Iceland made me realize that in my attempt to offer diversity in my reviews, I have neglected the museum for too long.

Hannes Lárusson, the Knight of Icelandic Performance Art

The first day of the Sequences 2011 Festival started with the spectacular opening of “He and she-Me and them” at the Kling&Bang Gallery by the veteran of Icelandic performance art, Hannes Lársusson (b. 1955), who was also the honorary artist of the festival this year. The deceitfully innocent...

Orri's Abandoned Homes of Empty Hearts

The Reykjavík Museum of Photography is currently hosting three exhibitions focusing on the soul of the human habitat but from different aspects: the exterior in Thórir Ingvarson's “Houses are also people”, the interior in Orri's “Interiors” and the aesthetics of still-life in Leifur Thorsteinsson's...

Iceland Does (Not) Exist

The exhibition “50 Years of Icelandic Art at the Venice Biennale” at Kjarvalsstadir is advertized as: “the exhibition of all exhibitions”—which is, perhaps, not an exaggeration. It depends on how harshly or appreciatively Icelanders decide to judge their past. I look forward to the future and to...

The Constellations of Ódinn

Christmas! Let's admit it, winter darkness is the last thing we need in this never-ending period. Expecting gratitude is against the holiday spirit, so what do we do to recharge our batteries? Google the time-tested wisdom of gnomic poetry, such as in the Viking ethical poem Hávamál , or visit the...

Nylon-Concealed Lie or Disgraceful Truth?

If every time you look into the mirror makes you frown and you think it's high time to befriend the gym, go see the exhibition “Tight” by the Icelandic Love Corporation at Hafnarborg, the Hafnarfjördur Centre of Culture and Fine Art, which will change your mind and make you want to lovingly parade...

Watercolor Nostalgia Heals the Autumn Blues

The exhibition ‘Nordisk Akvarell 2010’ (‘Nordic Watercolour 2010’) at the Nordic House will not offer you any new insights into landscape, cityscape, portrait, still life, animal or abstract art. But don't be in a hurry to yawn in boredom by the traditional aspect of its themes, because it is quite...

History Lesson in Icelandic Feminist Art

There is no way I could have ignored the Red Stockings feminist exhibition “The Will as a Weapon – Review 1970-1980” at Kjarvalsstadir because this year the Icelandic activists commemorate several anniversaries of major equal rights victories in the past 100 years. The approaching national Women's...

And More Mountain Art

Dadi Gudbjörnsson's art with its smiley faces, Aladdin's lamps, gleaming hearts, blue mountains and psychedelic flora of unearthly origin reminds me of the cheesy R.E.M. song “Shiny Happy People”. The sugar-sweet naivety fails to amuse me but I must admit it infects my mood with delirious joy.

Psaligraphy or the Art of Patience

Have you heard of psaligraphy? Before I went to see Karen Bit Vejle's exhibition “Scissors for a Brush” at the Nordic House, I did not know that such an art form existed. OK, everybody has seen small paper cut Christmas decorations in play-school before, but these are of grandiose scale and...

In Memoriam of a Gallery

On your way to the shopping mall Kringlan, you will see a park on your left side. Next to the road, the poster of a crowned bleeding woman in red dress welcomes you with her hands up in the air. The image is by the internationally famous Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist and bears the title “The...

The Visual Poetry of Sigurdur Gudmundsson

The enormous poster adorning the facade of Reykjavík District Court on Laekjatorg square in the city center is sure to have caught your attention. A weirdly-tilted man and a weirdly-slanted wooden pole seem to be dancing together against the laws of gravity… how do they do it? The poster advertises...

In Anticipation of the Reykjavík Arts Festival: Pick of the Picks

Big anniversary, lousy information display and triumph of photography are the key words to describe the Reykjavík Arts Festival 2010. Gallerí Ágúst is a good starting point for the festival with the exhibition “Equivocal the Sequel” by the photographer Katrín Elvarsdóttir which will open on May 13.

Revisiting Memory Lane

The phenomenon memory fascinates me. Thoughts that are deceitful, highly influenced by subjective emotions and irrational in their selectivity—and they don't age over time. More often than not, the trip down Memory Lane goes together with a sweet sorrow, or “nostalgia.” Four artists demystify this...

Pages