Exhibition Opening: Jóhannes S. Kjarval: Mind and World, Friday 5 February

Jóhannes S. Kjarval, Warrior Maiden, 1961.

At the Museum Night, Friday 5 February, at 6 p.m., an extensive exhibition of the work of Jóhannes S. Kjarval will be opened. The name of the exhibition is Mind and World and consists of both paintings and drawings from the whole of Kjarval´s career.  

The exhibition comprises two parts: the principal content will be rarely-seen works from the unique private collection of Þorvaldur Guðmundsson and his wife Ingibjörg Guðmundsdóttir, which are preserved at Gerðarsafn and are shown alongside pieces from the Reykjavík Art Museum’s own collection. The exhibition offers an excellent opportunity to see key works from the artist’s career, and to gain insight into the recurrent themes which are characteristic of his oeuvre – on the one hand Icelandic nature in all its diversity, and on the other the life and symbolism the artist sensed in his surroundings – perceived by the mind as much as seen by the eye.

The collection of Þorvaldur and Ingibjörg includes many of Kjarval’s key works, among them Lífshlaupið (The Story of Life), a large-scale mural from the artist’s studio in Austurstræti in Reykjavík. Completed in 1933, The Story of Life exemplifies various factors which recur regularly in Kjarval’s work: landscape and working life, while the work also includes the fantastical element which is a feature of much of his oeuvre.

Curator: Ólöf Kristín Sigurðardóttir, Director of the Reykjavík Art Museum. Designer: Axel Hallkell Jóhannesson. The exhibition galleries at Kjarvalsstaðir have been renovated and create a beautiful frame around many of Kjarval´s best works.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the president of Iceland, will open the exhibition at 6 p.m. Museum Night starts at 7 p.m. and the museum will be open until midnight free of charge.