Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnarhús: the old harbor warehouse is located in the oldest part of Reykjavík where the town’s boats docked. The building was erected in the 1930s and at the time it was one of Iceland‘s largest buildings. Hafnarhúsið is by downtown Reykjavík.
Tryggvagata 17, 101 Reykjavík
Open daily 10-17
Erró was one of the first Western artists to adopt the legend and images of Mao Zedong. Between 1972 and 1980, Erró painted the series Chinese Paintings – over 130 paintings which tell the story of a great leader who travels around the world. Each painting, like most other paintings by Erró from 1964 onwards, is based on a collage where Erró matches two images of different origins against each other: Chinese propaganda posters and Western tourist pictures from famous places. Erró pictures Chairman Mao and his comrades on a triumphant tour around the world, but in reality Mao only úsonly made two trips out of China, both times to attend the Communist Party Convention in Moscow. The series Chinese Paintings is fiction, where the staging and the presence of Mao in various locations is a sarcastic reference to the wave of Maoism which seized groups of Western artists, intellectuals and politicians following the student riots in Paris in May 1968. The series objectifies both the utopian dream of the future and the fear of the Chinese Cultural Revolution spreading around the world.
The Chinese Paintings made Erró famous internationally. The exhibition in Hafnarhús contains paintings, collages and engravings from the Reykjavík Art Museum’s collection.
At his private exhibition in the A-hall of the Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnahús, the artist Finnbogi Pétursson presents a new work specifically tailored to the exhibition space. Throughout his four-decade career, Pétursson has worked with perception and emphasized the boundaries of vision and hearing. He has developed countless ways to make sound waves visible, highlighted the frequency of material and space, and worked with the physics of the environment. At the exhibition in Hafnarhús, sound waves are led into a large pool and the ripples of the water are reflected on the walls of the hall in an immersive installation. Celebrating his 60th birthday at the end of the year, Icelandic artist Finnbogi Pétursson (b. 1959) took part in his first exhibition in 1980 at Gallery Sudurgata 7. He studied in 1979 – 1983 at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts, Iceland, and in 1983 – 1985 at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie, Holland. Pétursson is represented by BERG Contemporary, Reykjavík and Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin.
Trophies is a work of art that has been installed on the roof of Arnarhvoll at Ingólfsstræti in Reykjavík, to celebrate a year of art in public spaces, but in 2019 Reykjavík Art Museum focuses on outdoor artworks, with events and exhibitions. The project is a collaboration with Reykjavík Art Museum and sponsored by the Reykjavík Municipal Treasury. Artist Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir has created numerous works for public spaces in Iceland and abroad and outdoor art has always been a large part of her artistic endeavors.
The work in question consists of eleven aluminum cast figures which she created between 2015 and 2017 – originally meant for the Museum of Military History in Dresden. The work, titled Trophies, was installed on the museum building in Dresden, formerly the armory of the German army. The building had previously been decorated with military figures but they were stolen during the war in 1943 and have never been found, in spite of extensive searching. Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir is born in Reykjavik, Iceland.
She lived in England and Italy where she got her training as a sculptor. Steinunn has been working professionally for close to 40 years and has exhibited widely in Europe, Japan, USA and Australia. Her works are in private, public and corporate collections worldwide. She works in various forms of sculpture and uses many different materials for her artistic expression. Steinunn has through the years done numerous commissions both indoor in specific spaces as well as site-specific outdoor work. Steinunn lives and works in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Selected works reveal how artists explore the experience of being human. They reflect corporal and psychological characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of existence. The exhibition is the third draft of contemporary art history in Iceland based on works from the RAM Collection. The idea is that the museum continues choosing pieces from the collection and placing them in the context of an experiment of writing art history as it happens. When pieces are acquired by the museum, a certain choice takes place, reflecting on the diversity of art creation each time, but here we try to analyze even further the joint emphases, found in today’s artistic melting pot. What characterizes Icelandic fine art in the 21st century? What are the subjects of artists, their methods, materials and challenges? Works on display are by artists Anna Hallin, Ásta Ólafsdóttir, Björk Guðnadóttir, the Icelandic Love Corporation, Helgi Þorgils Friðjónsson, Hulda Vilhjálmsdóttir, Kristleifur Björnsson and others.
Ragnheiður Káradóttir is the 38th artist to exhibit in Reykjavík Art Museum’s exhibition series in D-Gallery. Ragnheiður is born in 1984 and lives and works in Reykjavík. She received a BA in Fine Arts from Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2010 and graduated in the spring of 2016 with an MFA in Fine Arts from School of Visual Arts in New York. Ragnheiður uses everyday objects and materials in her works, modifying them and giving them a new and unexpected role. The merger of familiar forms and materials results in exotic objects open to interpretation – everyday objects receive a make-over and dead objects are personified. The D-Gallery exhibition series started in 2007, where up-and-coming artists, who are shaping the local contemporary art scene, are invited to hold their first solo show in a public museum.