Hangman's Rock - The Delirium of Vision
Hangman´s Rock and the Delirium of Vision exhibits selected works from over 50 paintings by Icelandic painter Jóhannes S. Kjarval (1885-1972). The works depict variations of a specific area in Garðahraun at Álftanes. For almost a quarter of a century Kjarval travelled there in order to paint a formation of rocks and lava. He named the vicinity “Hangman’s Rock,” but the actual Hangman’s Rock is located somewhere else in Garðahraun. Kjarval´s rock sits in its natural formation, plainly unexceptional vis-à-vis thousands of other similar formations found in the numerous vast fields of lava in Iceland.
Curator Ólafur Gíslason seeks to shed light on the existential questions that take place within the fine art in general. Referring to the phenomenology of visual perception, the exhibition reveals the artist´s complex subject matter and why the rock evoked such varied manifestations on the artist’s canvases. Dissolving borders between external and internal reality – into the delirium of vision. These paradoxes are echoed throughout art history. By exhibiting selected work by four generations of Icelandic artists, the history in Icelandic contexts is drawn from Kjarval to contemporary artists of today.