The Seasons in Kjarval’s Art
From around 1930 Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (1885-1972) started to spend more time painting in the open air, especially at Þingvellir and in the lava fields near Reykjavík. He returned again and again to the same locations, painting the same subjects repeatedly at different seasons, and in varying weather and light conditions. Through this approach he explored how the changing light of each day interacts with weather and with the colour palette of the seasons to transform and reshape nature.
In the autumn of 2013 a retrospective of Kjarval‘s work at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg presented examples of his paintings of Iceland’s lava fields and mountain landscape, as he perceived them in summer and winter. Also on display were pieces in which he combines landscape with otherworldly beings and creatures to create a mystical, enigmatic ambiance. The exhibition in Russia was well received, and it is now presented, with minor changes, here at Kjarvalsstaðir: The Seasons in Kjarval’s Art.
The exhibition comprises three parts: Series, Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. Most of the works on display here are from the collection of the Reykjavík Art Museum (Kjarval Collection). The National Gallery of Iceland, the Kópavogur Art Museum – Gerðarsafn, the ASÍ Art Museum and individuals have also generously loaned works from their collections.