Ingólfur Arnarsson: Ground Level
New works by Ingólfur Arnarsson will be presented in Gallery A in Hafnarhús.
Arnarsson has been influential on the Icelandic art scene ever since he graduated from his art studies in the Netherlands early in the eighties. Drawings have always been an important part of his work, Arnarsson´s drawings are characterised by delicate lines, precision and time. He has also painted on concrete, where heavy, industrially produced units create the base for his dainty colour tones. The exhibition in Hafnarhús´s A-Hall holds new works, precisely executed for the hall space.
His work is never isolated from its surroundings, but always a part of a well-planned installation and the exhibition space. Arnarsson has exhibited his work both in Iceland and abroad, for example in solo exhibitions in Kjarvalsstaðir in 1996 and the respected arts centre Chinati Foundation in USA in 1992.
Arnarsson´s exhibitions are always planned with the space in question in mind and his sparse, but precisely executed pieces have been said to be minimalistic. Thus, an analysis of his work offers an opportunity to connect the work of a contemporary Icelandic artist to the international ideology of contemporary art, although the resulting conversation creates a double existence on the border between minimalism and conceptual art, which is so prominent in Arnarsson´s art work. While minimalism aims to empty the art work of all references outside its own form and materials, conceptual art is based on the reification of an idea which originated outside the art work itself. Arnarsson´s work contain the artist´s fascinating struggle with the idea of the art work itself.
Ingólfur Arnarsson (b. 1956) graduated from the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts in 1979 and studied at the Jan van Eyck Academie in the Netherlands between 1979 and 1981. In his career of more than thirty years, Arnarsson has held exhibitions in Iceland and abroad, for example solo exhibitions in Kjarvalsstaðir 1996, Safn 2005 and in Hafnarborg 2013, as well as being a regular presence at the Living Art Museum. Abroad, his work has been exhibited in the Centre for Contemporary Non-Objective Art in Brussels in 1999, the Drawing Center in New York in 2007 and the respected Chinati Foundation in Texas, USA. After visiting Iceland, the foundation´s founder, artist Donald Judd, invited Arnarsson to stay there as artist-in-residence. Arnarsson has had a permanent installation with the foundation since 1992.
From the beginning of his career, Arnarsson has been actively involved in organising exhibitions of Icelandic and foreign artists, in Iceland and abroad. He was also one of the founding members of Gallery Suðurgata 7, which was an experimental exhibition hall in Reykjavík in the late eighties, and participated in the activities at Önnur hæð, a gallery run in Reykjavík in the middle of the nineties. As well as developing his own art, Arnarsson has taught art, he was the head of the multi-media department of the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts in 1983-1993, and a professor at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2000-2007.