Katrín Sigurðardóttir: Foundation

25 Jan. – 13 April.


Reykjavík Art Museum is pleased to present Katrín Sigurðardóttir’s work Foundation, with which she represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale in 2013.

Foundation is a large-scale installation comprising a raised ornamental surface, which extends beyond the walls of the Museum’s galleries, mapping out the floor of an imaginary 18th-century pavilion. Hand-made tiles form intricate patterns in the baroque style, and visitors are invited to walk on the surface and experience it underfoot.

Foundation is conceived as a trilogy of installations. In the first, at the Palazzo Zenobio’s Lavanderia in Venice, the work intersected with the walls of an ancient laundry. In Reykjavík, the work is located at the Museum’s Harbour House, an old warehouse in downtown Reykjavík. Lastly in New York, it will occupy the vast gallery of SculptureCenter, which in earlier times was a trolley repair facility. With its historical reference, Foundation draws attention to the inherent history of its host buildings, and at each exhibition venue the pre-existing walls continue to shape the work, draw a new pattern. Thus, the real story — of intersecting three different buildings in three countries — will intentionally contrast the fairytale of the baroque-inspired floor.

This is the artist’s third solo exhibition at the Reykjavík Art Museum.  Katrín explains: “Each of the three exhibitions I have staged at the Reykjavík Art Museum has dealt with transcending the boundaries of the Museum’s architecture, of passing through walls. In 2000 I created windows/mirrors that gave a view into the neighbourhood surrounding the museum. In 2004, I constructed a 300ft-long jagged wall that extended through several enclosures in the Museum, and now this gigantic floor cuts through the building. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that my intuition looks beyond the boundary of the walls, because this Museum is an integral part of the landscape of my native city. My world doesn’t end at the boundary of the institution, but continues beyond, where the life of the Museum and the life of the city intersect.”

Katrín Sigurðardóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1967. Over two decades she has explored the way physical structures and boundaries define our perception of reality. Through unexpected shifts in scale, united with a personal use of architecture, cartography and landscape, her evocative installations oblige us to look at the world surrounding us in a new way. Her solo exhibitions include: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2010), MoMA PS1, New York (2006), FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France (2006), Sala Siqueiros, Mexico City (2005), and Fondazione Sandretto, Turin, Italy (2004). Future exhibitions include MIT List Visual Arts Center in Boston (2015) and Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London (2015).

The exhibition is organized by the Icelandic Art Center, and is curated by Ilaria Bonacossa, director of Villa Croce, Museo D’Arte Contemporanea, Genoa, Italy, and Mary Ceruti, director of SculptureCenter, New York.  A 128-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition, published by the Reykjavík Art Museum and Marsilio Editori, Venice.  It contains texts in English, Icelandic and Italian, by Hafþór Yngvason, Director of the Reykjavík Art Museum, Katrín Jakobsdottir, Minister of Culture, Dorothée Kirch, Commissioner; writers Eva Heisler and Kristín Ómarsdóttir; as well as Ilaria Bonacossa, Mary Ceruti and Katrín Sigurðardóttir.

A symposium on the occasion of this exhibition will be held at the Museum on March 1, 2014, featuring the artist, writers and art scholars. The list of speakers will be announced shortly.

Press release (pdf)


Friday 7 February  10 p.m.  Museum Night 2014
Kristín Ómarsdóttir poet reads from 7 Letters, published in the catalogue accompanying the work.

 Saturday 1 March
Symposium in connection with the exhibition.

Saturday 12 April 3 p.m.
Artist‘s talk with Katrín Sigurðardóttir.



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Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Undirstaða/Foundation.

Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Undirstaða/Foundation.


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