Small population – massive art scene: contemporary art in Iceland is direct and distinctive. STRIPPED AWAY presents the work of Icelandic artists Birgir Snæbjörn Birgisson, Helgi Hjaltalín Eyjolfsson and Helgi Thorgils Fridjónsson.Birgisson, Eyjolfsson and Fridjónsson are three of the four artists in WISTFUL MEMORY, an exhibition at the National Gallery of Iceland in Reykjavík that opens on March 13 and will subsequently tour to the US.
STRIPPED AWAY is the first show to be presented by T I N T Y P E formerly W A L L .
Birgir Snæbjörn Birgisson
Birgir Birgisson is obsessed with the meaning and ideology of being and becoming blonde. Colour, in his work, is stripped away, taken back to the palest hue. Images are like an impression of something that was once there. ‘The pretty women of Paris’ is a new series based on an 1883 unofficial guidebook listing and classifying Parisian prostitutes. Birgisson has undertaken the task of transcribing the complete text of this book in beguilingly pretty watercolours. His work has a pastel-shaded seductiveness, yet it chills and disturbs.
Helgi Hjaltalin Eyjolfsson
Helgi Hjaltalin Eyjólfsson is an installation artist. Since 1997, all his series and exhibitions have been called ‘Favourable Circumstances’, a title that comes from Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin.
Dotted around the coast of Iceland there are many wooden poles that serve as markers for fishermen at sea. Eyjolfsson started to use one near his home as a makeshift exhibition space, leaving objects on top of the pole. He photographed, drew and painted these installations.
Helgi Thorgils Fridjónsson
Helgi Thorgils Fridjónsson is a highly esteemed artist with a strong following in Europe and the US. He was one of the founding members of the Living Art Museum which, since the 70s, has played a pivotal role both in supporting and developing Icelandic artists and in commissioning new work from international artists. In his work, Fridjónsson both embraces and questions Icelandic identity, “being nationalistic is not my interest, but bringing up national questions provokes something about existence”. His paintings re-interpret and reclaim ideas about nature and myth.
24 February – 14 March 2010 Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 6pm
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