Exhibition Opening: Heads from Clouds – The Portraits of Jóhannes S. Kjarval
Throughout his career, Kjarval created portraits, and in this extensive exhibition visitors become acquainted with them. Here, there are oil paintings of well-known people from different periods, watercolours of Italian people from 1920, a selection of ink and India ink drawings from 1928-30, red chalk images of family and close friends, and lesser-known portraits from his later years. Finally, there are group images which have never been displayed together. The exhibition also contains all of Kjarval’s available self-portraits. Kjarval’s portraits have been prominent in retrospectives of his works and various group exhibitions but until now they have not been the focus of a whole exhibition.
Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (1885-1972) is one of Iceland’s most beloved artists, his paintings and interpretation of Icelandic landscape are a big part of the country’s cultural and art history. However, he started his official artistic career as a portrait painter, when he created portraits of four Landsbankinn’s managers, living and dead, in 1923. His drawings of common people in Iceland, from 1926-30, marked a watershed in his career, winning the hearts of the Icelandic people. These portrait drawings were also the first works of his that were acquired for the nation’s art collection.
Curator: Aðalsteinn Ingólfsson