Quint Contemporary Art is pleased to present work by four artists from Iceland. The work brings together some of the finest aspects of Iceland's cultural heritage, in particular it's literary and linguistic trademark. The style used by these artists is concise, clear and direct. Only the essentials have been retained. The exhibition opens with a reception on March 21st and runs through April 26, 2008.
The mid-century preoccupation with poetry and storytelling forms an important background to the development of Icelandic conceptual art—characterized as "poetic-conceptualism" within Iceland's arts community this provides an opportunity to consider the ways in which Icelandic artists make use of Icelandic literary traditions within the context of post-conceptual practices.
Birgir Andrésson (b. 1955) The exhibition will showcase "portrait" text works by the artist. Born in the Westmann Islands in 1955, Andrésson went on to study visual arts at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and then received a graduate degree from the Jan Van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht in Holland.
The artist spent much of his childhood in a home for the blind in Hamrahlí with his father and stepmother who were both blind. Andrésson was especially preoccupied in his work with spoken language, and the communication of visual perception, which he explored through text portraits, drawings, wall installations and three-dimensional constructions. This past fall, Andrésson was nominated for the Icelandic Visual Arts Awards for the retrospective exhibition of his work at the National Gallery. One of Iceland’s most respected visual artists, Birgir Andrésson, died this October 24, 2007 at the age of 52.
Hreinn Fridfinnsson (b. 1943) work conveys a sense of beauty and order by making installations using very delicate ordinary materials such as wire and plastic. The main work by Hreinn in this exhibition is a wall installation made of chicken wire titled Palace. Fridfinnsson investigates ways of seeing, feeling and understanding. He knows what kinds of experience, knowledge, and memories are shared by people and how feeling can be crystallized in the experience of viewing. Even his smallest works are in some way more significant than their scale – each one of them contains a big idea or emotion, or both.
Kristján Gudmundsson (born 1941) In their content, Gudmundsson's works are an intellectual challenge, addressing a variety of scientific, artistic and human issues. Gudmundsson has the fascinating ability to combine things that seem to be incommensurate: he can translate colour into verbal expression; make time visual; and mathematical series of numbers may express physical and intellectual pleasure. Works in the exhibition by Gudmundsson expand the idea of "drawing" by concentrating on the tools and materials used in the drawing process, in this case graphite and paper, rather than actual drawing with these tools. Gudmundsson is an important and central figure of the first generation of Icelandic conceptual art - intelligent, severe, humoristic and poetic. His seemingly meandering oeuvre consists of series of works that are surprising in their manifestations and, despite their different appearance, form an uncompromisingly consistent whole that respects the same values.
Thor Vigfusson (b. 1954) primarily works with colored glass and mirrors. These tersely elegant works hover on the boundary between painting and wall sculpture. Installed on or leaning against walls these minimal works reflect the viewer and their surroundings and play with the reflections of the surrounding room and the onlooker. At the same time the images become transparent because of the nature of colored glass. Like minimalist exclamation marks, Vigfússon’s works are seductive in their simplicity.