in the Nordic House
By Torben Rasmussen
For years the Nordic House has had two aims in its annual summer exhibition: On the one hand to present good Icelandic art to foreign summer visitors to the country, and on the other hand to take a stand on the state of art in Iceland, seen from the perspective of the Nordic House.
When one examines the works of Gudjón Bjarnason in the summer exhibition 1997 it is clear that his studies in architecture have not left him untouched. His paintings reveal the logic and structure of the architectural plan, an architects sensitivity for construction and the three-dimensional is evident in the sculptures and the arrangement of the exhibition itself shows an architects valuation of space and spatial experience.
But Gudjón is not an architect in this context; he is first and foremost an artist who puts things in perspective in more than one sense. He balances between the formalistic and the organic, between the Dyonysian and the Apollonian - or however one wants to express modern mans position, stretched between the rational and the irrational. Action and spirit. Emotion and intellect. The dualism, then.
Nature and the transcendence of mans genuine character and latent unhappiness. There is no telling where this may end ...
Torben Rasmussen was director of the Nordic House in Reykjavík at the time of Gudjón Bjarnasons 1997 exhibition there. This text was printed in the catalogue for Gudjón Bjarnasons exhibition in the Nordic House in Reykjavík in the summber of 1997, entitled Large Works.
|Black Memory, from the series Descending Desire, 1997
Oil on canvas, 233 x 202.5 cm
|His paintings reveal the logic and structure of the architectural plan, an architects sensitivity for construction and the three-dimensional is evident in the sculptures and the arrangement of the exhibition itself shows an architects valuation of space and spatial experience.|