Sleppa leiðarkerfi.










The publication introduces 50 artists from Iceland:
Anna Líndal, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, Ásmundur Ásmundsson, Birgir Snæbjörn Birgisson, Darri Lorenzen, Eggert Pétursson, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Elín Hansdóttir, Erla S. Haraldsdóttir, Erling T.V. Klingenberg, Finnbogi Pétursson, Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, Georg Guðni, Guðný Rósa Ingimarsdóttir, Guðrún Vera Hjartardóttir, Hannes Lárusson, Haraldur Jónsson, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, Helgi Þorgils Fríðjónsson, Hildur Bjarnadóttir, Hlynur Hallsson, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, Hrafnkell Sigurðsson, Hulda Hákon, Hulda Stefánsdóttir, The Icelandic Love Corporation, Inga Svala Þórsdóttir, Ingólfur Arnarsson, Ívar Valgarðsson, Jón Óskar, Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Libia Castro + Ólafur Ólafsson, Magnús Sigurðarsson, Margrét H. Blöndal, Olga Soffía Bergmann, Ólafur S. Gíslason, Ólöf Nordal, Ragnar Kjartansson, Rúrí, Sara Björnsdóttir, Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir, Sigurður Árni Sigurðsson, Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir, Steingrímur Eyfjörð, Svava Björnsdóttir, Tumi Magnússon, Unnar Örn Auðarson, Þórdís Aðalsteinsdóttir, Þór Vigússon.


Texts by:
Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir, Christian Schoen, Eva Heisler, Gregory Volk, Ólafur Gíslason, Halldór Björn Runólfsson, Jón Proppé, Markús Þór Andrésson, Margrét Elísabet Ólafsdóttir, Matthias Wagner K, Ragna Sigurðardóttir, Shauna Laurel Jones, Þóra Þórisdóttir.



Icelandic Art Today is the first book of its kind to present in English a wide array of Icelandic contemporary artists born after 1950. Thirteen well known writers of various nationality join hands in writing about 50 artists who have been prominent during the past decade or longer. Many of these artists have gained recognition outside Iceland, either in Europe or in the United States and some have chosen to stay abroad and try their luck in various centres of art although most of them maintain a contact with their country of origin.


Icelandic Art Today is 340 pages, lavishly illustrated with informative texts on each of the fifty artists and an extensive introduction to contemporary art in Iceland, which can be traced back to the late fifties and early sixties when a growing discontent with modernism and formalism was being felt by a generation of artists born in the twenties and the early thirties. With the advent of numerous artists born in the early fourties Contemporary art became the dominant trait of Icelandic art in the late sixties and early seventies, paving the way for Conceptual and Minimal Art in the seventies and the eighties, before evolving along postmodernistic lines in the late eighties.


Despite its kinship with international trends and movements Icelandic art has a logic of its own, which is not easy to decipher although it is quite easy to detect. Compared with art from other Nordic countries Icelandic contemporary art is perhaps less sociological or psychological than either its Danish or Swedish counterparts and has less to do with the search and loss of identity, which often characterizes Norwegian and Finnish art.


If one is to sum up recent contemporary art in Iceland, which is not a rewarding task, it is rather based on a playful attitude towards tradition and the absurdity of being situated halfway between western culture and a striking nature, which is perfectly othewise than anything found in the rest of Europe. Isolation, conditioned by a difficult notion of time and space, may be a common denominator of Icelandic contemporary art although Icelandic Art Today shows it to be anything but obvious.

While we thank Hatje Cantz for their patience and encouragement, and all those who helped realize this wonderful project we hope that this book may reveal the variety of Icelandic art, which still benefits from the spectrum of different countries and cities where these 50 artists drew their postgraduate formation before blending it with the background of their origin.







With texts by: Adam Budak, Caroline Corbetta, Cecilia Alemani, Florencia Malbran, Markús Thór Andrésson & Dorothée Kirch, Andjeas Ejiksson and Christian Schoen


Ragnar Kjartansson is a self-described incurable romantic, whose multifaceted artistic practice is rooted in a tradition of acting and performance. This publication gives an overview of Kjartansson's artistic developement, highlighting his major performance pieces and video installations of the past decade.

But the main focus lies his complex project for the 53rd International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition features a tableau vivant of the artist and a portrait model that will last for the entire six months of the Biennale, along with a monumental video and music installation. Also a part of the exhibition, and in anticipation of the Biennale, Kjartansson and his friend and fellow artist Andjeas Ejiksson began exchanging letters in early 2008 chronicling preparations for the Pavilion. The two artists approached this dialogue from a performance angle, slipping into the roles of two sentimental gentlemen of yore. The letter exchange has been reproduced in its entirety in the publication.


Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976, Reykjavík, Iceland) has worked extensively with the elements found in The End: durational performance, theater, painting, video, and music. He has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions at galleries, museums, and biennials and triennials, including the 2nd Turin Triennial, Italy (2008); Manifesta 8, Rovereto, Italy (2008); the Reykjavik Arts Festival, Iceland (2008, 2005, 2004). Kjartansson graduated from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts in 2001, and he is the youngest artist ever to represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale.



LIST icelandic art news (print versions)



In 2007 and 2008 the online magazine LIST icelandic art news released special print issues. LIST 2007 focussed amongst other news on Steingrimur Eyfjörd and his project for the Venice Biennale, Roni Horn, Steina Vasulka, Sequences Festival, Hans Ulrich Obrist.
2008 issue featured the Icelandic participants at Manifesta 7 Ólafur Ólafsson & Libia Castro, Margrét Blöndal and Ragnar Kjartansson; Rúrí, Húbert Nóí, the conference Reinventing Harbour Cities and Icelandic Photography.


Edited by Christian Schoen and Jón Proppé






Steingrimur Eyfjörd, Iceland´s representative at the 52nd Venice Biennale, is one of the foremost of a generation of artists who came to prominence in Iceland during the 1970s. His prolific output over the past 25 years draws on his experience not only as artist but as a comic strip author, magazine editor, writer, curator and teacher. His work employs a wide variety of media, including photography, comic strip, video, painting, sculpture, performance, writing and installation. His art may appear equally diverse conceptually: founded on influences as disparate as folk tales, Icelandic sagas, women’s fashion magazines, religion, superstition, critical theory and many other current topics, Eyfjörd’s chains of association intersect at a nodal point of multiple meaning, forming a body of work that is multi-layered and at times perplexing yet always reveals an articulate and unexpected approach to the issues at hand.


The catalogue includes texts by Hanna Styrmisdóttir, Halldór Björn Runólfsson, Christian Schoen and Hafthór Yngvason.







The Center for Icelandic Art publishes annually a gallery and museum guide. The booklet lists all museums, galleries and project spaces and points out highlights of artworks or projects in public space. The guide is available at all the tourist information or in the art institutions.







Homesickness is a term used in a number of languages to express illness, pain or a longing for one’s distant home. Homesickness is a concrete feeling or a romantic term. It is childish, antiquated and yet current and relevant since it touches on the question of one’s own (individual or collective, ethnic or cultural) identity. The question of what ‘home’ can signify in times of globalised societies, which leads on to the question of what is signified by ‘homesickness’, can be put both concretely and metaphorically. The question can be grasped as an approach both towards the subjective phenomenon of people yearning for a sense of belonging and towards a cultural or ethnic group’s collective pursuit of identity.

It was also its assonant double entendre that caused HOMESICK to be chosen as the laconic title of the exhibition project in which the desire to leave home is likewise expressed: to be sick of home. The globalised world economy demands modern nomadism from the individual; the home becomes a claustrophobic nightmare, escape represents freedom.


The exhibition involved the artists Guy Ben-Ner (Israel), Chantal Michel (Switzerland), Nevin Aladag (Turkey), Katrin Sigurðardóttir (Iceland), Haraldur Jónsson (Iceland), Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson (Iceland/Spain).


Texts by: Hannes Sigurðsson, Christian Schoen, Hjálmar Sveinsson





Editors: Christian Schoen and Halldór Björn Runólfsson
May 2009, English Hatje Cantz (Germany)
340 pages, 354 illustrations
€ 49,80
ISBN 978-3-7757-2295-7


ICELANDIC ART TODAY is published by the Center for Icelandic Art and the National Gallery of Iceland


We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Agnes Gund. This project could not have been accomplished without her generous support. Additional thanks go to Bjarni Ármannsson and Helga Sverrisdóttir.

And we cordially wish to thank our sponsors:
The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs / Viljandi / Goethe-Institut / Landesbank Baden-Württemberg / The Trade Council of Iceland




























































Editor: Christian Schoen
June 2009, English Hatje Cantz (Germany)
120 pages, 88 illustrations
€ 35,--
ISBN 978-3-7757-2333-6




















































































Editors: Steingrimur Eyfjörd and Hanna Styrmisdóttir
May 2007, English
134 pp
ISBN 9979-769-28-9


Published by Lóan er komin, Center for Icelandic Art and Reykjavík Art Museum








































































Editors: Hannes Sigurðsson and Christian Schoen

May 2006, English / Icelandic

40 pp
ISBN 9979-9632-4-7



center For Icelandic Art