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Luise Ross Gallery

New York | 2010



Installation composed of a mural,

oil paintings, silk-screen prints.

Jon Proppe

Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir and Guðjón Ketilsson are both established artists in Iceland and have exhibited extensively, both at home and abroad. Though they work in different media and seek inspiration from different sources, they share a certain intellectual approach to their subject matter, a way of presenting their ideas obliquely and playing on the viewer’s expectations to generate new and surprising perspectives on the content and formal presentation of their art.

Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir has long concentrated on the presentation of nature in her paintings, sculptures, prints and video art. The mountains of Iceland provide her with endless variations and in recent years she has charted the ever-changing patterns that appear on their sheer sides as the weather shifts and shapes drifts of snow along crags and gullies. The receding snows of spring, in particular, inscribe fascinating shapes on the mountainsides, a kind of organic writing produced entirely by natural forces. Recording these patterns, Guðrún transfers them onto her canvases and prints where they take on not only a permanent form but also new layers of meaning as formal studies of our perception of shapes and backgrounds. The shift from nature to art also shifts the sense. By isolating parts of the whole and reproducing them in artworks – literally framing them anew – Guðrún raises questions about the relationship of art and nature and about the way we read our environment. The viewer becomes conscious of the act of reading and the choices we make when we produce or enjoy artworks in the context that we have marked out for them, the gallery or museum, for example. In the present exhibition, Guðrún makes her point succinctly, exposing the process by literally shifting the artwork from its context to show the relationship of part and whole and demonstrate the change she effects in her work …


Both Guðjón Ketilsson and Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir combine a refined aesthetic with a subtle conceptual approach that addresses both our relationship with our environment and the nature of artistic production itself. Through their art, we can explore and reflect upon the ways in which we read and engage with our world and, at the same time, find surprising new perspectives that allow us to rethink and revaluate them.

Jón Proppé