Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Art: Erró: The World Today, Reykjavík Art Museum



Last Friday, on a typical Icelandic spring day – all gale-force winds and biting rain – I wrapped myself in a large woollen scarf and bowed my head against sheets of icy, horizontal sleet to 'see the sights'. I soon sought refuge in the nearest building open to the public, and that happened to be Reykjavík Art Museum

Currently showing at the Hafnarhus building of the museum, just two minutes away from the hotel I was staying in, are three exhibitions of contemporary art, each as well-curated and thought-provoking as the next.

The main retrospective is that of Icelandic surrealist/pop/collage artist Erró. In Erró: The World Today canvasses filled with satirical detail and brash (often dark) humour jump loudly out of the stark walls of the gallery space. Disney characters often pop up, as do images from Hollywood's iconic Golden Age, all asking questions about how technology and war and love (or the absolute terrifying lack of it) has changed/is changing the course of history.

The Cadences of Line and Colour takes up several rooms and comprises of works in various mediums by mainly Icelandic artists. An exploration of how painters turn to aesthetic theories of music to develop a wider freedom in visual art, highlights include Kjarval's Notes Played on a Piano, Guomundsdottir's Agitato and Gíslason's Symphony. Ion Lucin's prize-winning video, Spherikal, is a wonderfully striking part of the exhibition (watch it below – it's mesmerising).

The third exhibition is of Iceland's contribution to the 2013 Venice Biennial by Katrin Siguro. The work, entitled Foundation, is a large installation comprising of a raised floor extending beyond the walls of the exhibition into an empty industrial space. It is finished with beautiful handmade tiles and visitors are invited to walk on the artwork, bringing the worlds of practicality and aesthetics together.

Erró: The World Today | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Erró: Pop's History

The Cadences of Line and Colour | Photo: Rosie Pentreath


Katrin Siguro: Foundation | Photo: Rosie Pentreath 
Katrin Siguro: Foundation | Photo: Rosie Pentreath





Erró: The World Today runs until 24th August 2014. Visit: artmuseum.is


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