Listasafn Islands

Two exhibitions will be opened at Reykjavík Art Museum - Kjarvalsstaðir: Harro and Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson

Two exhibitions will be opened at Reykjavík Art Museum-Kjarvalsstaðir on Saturday 8 February at 4. p.m.  Exhibition of works by the Finnish artist Harro and exhibition of works by Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson entitled Core. The artists will be present at the opening.
The introduction of Harro in Iceland as a significant but overlooked Nordic artist will be combined with introduction of the Icelandic Pop-Artist Erró at the Turku Art Museum. Besides being significant figures in the history of contemporary art, both Harro and Erró and their production continue to stir discussions, stimulate research and act as a catalyst to artists and key actors inside popular and subcultures alike.

Harro Koskinen, The Pig Strikes, 1969, alkyd enamel and wood,135 x 232,5 cm Turku Art Museum. Photo: P.O. Welin.The exhibition will concentrate on Harro’s pop-art period and present many of his best known works from 1968 to 1972.  Among works in the exhibition are works based on the Finnish flag and business logos will also be shown. The intention is to immerse Icelandic audience in the specific context of Harro’s approach by presenting a number of pieces from his best known series of work. The works come from the Turku Art Museum, Wainö Aaltonen Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, and the artist’s own collection.

To start with the latter concern, an exhibition of Harro’s early work is particularly timely at this junction in Icelandic history. As the country is slowly recovering from the economic collapse of 2008, the population is going through critical examination of its values and its way of life. The works from Harro’s pig project and from The Finnish Way of Life translate easily across time and borders. The questions that Harro raises with his series of flags, for instance—flags full of holes, flags stretching, swelling, shrinking, ripping, splitting, crumbling, melting and burning—can and should also be asked about the Icelandic way of life.

Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson, Island, 2013. Silk, industrial dyes 306 x 443 cm.For over fifteen years, Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson has merged painting and weaving, creating paintings on hand-dyed, woven silk thread. Hildur’s paintings begin from images of the singular landscape of Iceland; addressing numerous Icelandic landmarks, she has created series devoted to Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier, and Hekla, a stratovolcano that is one of the country’s most active. The exhibition features a selection of Hildur’s large-scale woven paintings made on a three-meters-wide loom, as well as several newly created pieces.

Twice a year Hildur returns to Iceland, taking photographs as she hikes through the landscape. Details of the photographs, from mountainous silhouettes to glacial crevasses, become isolated, cropped, and enlarged as Hildur transfers the imagery to woven paintings in her Cleveland studio. This complex process includes hand-dyeing the threads before weaving together the warp and weft. In the process, Hildur’s original sources are abstracted, as the paintings suggest a range of imagery from nonrepresentational lines and shapes to elemental forms, such as cells, rocks, and galaxies.

Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson is a two-site exhibition. Part of the exhibition is shown at the Tang Museum in New York from 17 August to 29 December 2013. Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson has received numerous grants, commissions and awards, including the prestigious  Cleveland Arts Prize in 2008, Ohio Arts Council Grants, and a public commission from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.  In 2004 Hildur was awarded an Individual Artist’s Fellowship by the Ohio Arts Council and the same year was commissioned to create works of art to be presented in that year’s Governor’s Awards in the Arts.

Her previous exhibitions include The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland, and numerous galleries and museums in Iceland. Her work resides in a number of collections, including The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Reykjavík Museum of Art, The Progressive Insurance Collection, and Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Born in Reykjavík, Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson has lived in Cleveland, Ohio for thirty years. From 1983 through 1985, Jónsson studied architecture at Kent State University before switching her focus to studio art and studying at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Later, she returned to Kent State, where she received her BFA in 1991 and MFA in 1995.

Printed of the web Reykjvik Art Museum, 07.34.2015