Zoom Out – Salon exhibition from the collection
The exhibition Flæði/Zoom Out offers a unique opportunity to see a large proportion of the art collection of the Reykjavík Art Museum, and also to take a look behind the scenes at the Museum. The exhibition, which is hung in the spirit of the salon, will be in a state of perpetual flux for the nearly four months that it is open.
The role of an art museum is inter alia to conserve, to catalogue and to display art, and all these tasks are addressed in the exhibition. The aim is to bring out of the Museum’s depositories the bulk of the general collection – excluding the special collections of the works of such artists as Jóhannes S. Kjarval, Ásmundur Sveinsson and Erró. The works will not only be displayed, but also photographed; catalogue entries will be reviewed, and the conditions and storage of the works will be assessed. Visitors can observe Museum staff at work, and enjoy the diverse collection of the Museum in a living show that is constantly evolving.
The Reykjavík Art Museum’s collection was founded in the mid-20th century. The Museum has acquired works of art by purchase, and has also received many gifts. In the Museum’s early days acquisitions were decided by elected officials, and in some cases works of art were accepted in lieu of payments to public authorities.
Today a three-person panel (of changing composition) makes decisions on acquisitions in accord with available funding and the Museum’s acquisitions policy. The Reykjavík Art Museum’s collections now comprises 16,906 works of art.
The guiding principle of the Reykjavík Art Museum is to conserve the City of Reykjavík’s art collection, and to hold exhibitions of it. The City Executive Council resolution on the Reykjavík Art Museum states:
“The art collection of the City of Reykjavík comprises special collections of art works by Ásmundur Sveinsson, Erró and Jóhannes S. Kjarval, the City’s general art collection, and works of public art.
The Reykjavík Art Museum shall have in its keeping as full a collection of Icelandic art as is possible, and shall catalogue it, conserve it and display it. The Museum shall strive to acquire works which reflect as well as possible trends and developments in Icelandic art at any time, and also works which relate to art in Reykjavik.
Works of art shall be selected on grounds of their artistic merit.”
The Reykjavík Art Museum collection comprises 16,906 works of art. These include 5,385 works by Jóhannes S. Kjarval (of which 186 are paintings), 2,397 works by Ásmundur Sveinsson (443 of them sculptures), 4,553 works by Erró (340 paintings) and 98 public art works. The Museum owns 1,074 drawings by Alfreð Flóki. The general collection comprises 3,014 works.