The National Gallery of Iceland
The National Gallery of Iceland’s primary emphasis is collecting 20th and 21st-century Icelandic art; however, international art is also featured. The museum owns the most valuable collection of works by Icelandic artists in the country. The gallery was established in 1884 in Copenhagen, and the founding collection was based on gifts, mainly by Danish artists. The National Gallery of Iceland is situated in four buildings in Reykjavík: the main building at Fríkirkjuvegur 7, The Culture House, The Ásgrímur Jónsson Collection and the Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum.
The current exhibitions at Fríkirkjuvegur 7 are Muggur, Guðmundur Thorsteinsson, Hello Universe (Halló, geimur), which explores the fantastical world of outer space through the lens of works of art from the collection of the National Gallery and then the video installation Of the North by Steina Vasulka.
The exhibition National Treasures is in The Culture House, which showcases selected artworks from the collection. The Ásgrímur Jónsson museum in a walking distance is special because it is the artist’s former home. You enter his home and workshop, where his pictures of folklore and fairy tales are on display. In Sigurjón Ólafsson’s museum in Laugarnestangi, his sculptures are on display.
The admission fee is 2000ISK for adults, 1000ISK for 67 years and older and 1000ISK for students. The ticket is valid for all four museums.
Presently, exhibitions on show are:
OPEN: 2.10 2021 – 13.2.202
The exhibition explores Muggur’s [1891-1924] extraordinary visual world, which spans many fields: fantasy worlds where graceful princes and princesses live in beautiful palaces; the dark and terrifying world of trolls; landscape and bucolic bliss in Iceland; memories of travel to faraway places; the merciful world of faith where Christ cures the sick; as well as humorous drawings and folklore themes.
OPEN: 5.2.2021 – 9.1.2022
The far-distant spaces of the boundless universe have had a hold on the human mind from primeval times, and over the centuries artists have grappled with notions about space, and expressed and mediated them in diverse ways. The exhibition Hello Universe explores the fantastical world of outer space through the lens of works of art in the collection of the National Gallery of Iceland.
Among artitists, the avant-garde art of Finnur Jónsson [1892-1993] – the first Icelandic artist to address outer space in his works, in the first half of the 20th century – presents the artist's unfettered interpretation of the marvels of the celestial bodies, which are the theme of this exhibition.
Of the North
OPEN: 5.2.2021 – 9.1.2022
Of the North (2001) is created from Steina’s [b. 1940] archive of video recordings, mostly of Icelandic nature – either the surface of the earth, or microscopic views: microbes, as well as crashing waves and melting ice, landslips and an array of natural phenomena relating to geological formation and destruction of our planet.