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Opening at Ásmundarsafn: “I’ve never seen figurative electricity”


The exhibition “I’ve never seen figurative electricity” will be open at Ásmundarsafn, Saturday 18 January at 4 p.m. The exhibition displays works by Icelandic sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982) along with new works by nine Icelandic contemporary artists. By highlighting abstract works from the later period of his career, the exhibition seeks to shed light on similarities found in works of contemporary art.
Ásmundur, one of the Grand Old Men of Icelandic art, was a pioneer of Icelandic sculpture and a major influence on Icelandic culture. His early works are figurative and classical in form and very much reflect his academic training in sculpture. But in the late 1950s he began to experiment with materials such as scrap metal, iron and driftwood, which determined the outcome of the pieces. He also focussed on composition, form and the negative space within his works, and how they enlivened the space around; hence the work does not consist only of the material, but also of the light that plays on it.
Similar qualities are seen in the three-dimensional work of many contemporary artists: sculptures, objects and other spatial works, even large-scale installations, apply comparable methods, where material and form are the leading elements in the final outcome of the work. Ásmundur himself once remarked: “I have taken the liberty of making a non-figurative image of electricity, because I’ve never seen figurative electricity.”
Artists, in addition to Ásmundur Sveinsson, include Áslaug Í. K. Friðjónsdóttir, Baldur Geir Bragason, Björk Viggósdóttir, Hrafnhildur Halldórsdóttir, Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir, Ragnar Már Nikulásson, Sólveig Einarsdóttir, Þór Sigurþórsson and Þurý – Þuríður Rós Sigurþórsdóttir.
Curators: Klara Þórhallsdóttir and Kristín Dagmar Jóhannesdóttir.