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Einar Hákonarson: The Pulse of Time

Einar Hákonarson (b. 1945) is the artist who restored the figurative to Icelandic painting on his return from his studies in Sweden in 1968 at the age of 23. At that time Icelandic art had been dominated by the abstract for many years. 

Iceland’s nature and society have been a leitmotiv in the artist’s career – from Old Norse tales to the urbanised nation of the twentieth century. Contained in Einar’s oeuvre is a lyrical ode to nature, faith and feminism. His works are figurative, and abstract, and sometimes even in the Pop Art genre. Over his fifty-year career Einar has taken the pulse of Iceland, with the focus on human beings.

In addition to his work as an artist, Einar built and operated Iceland’s first privately-run cultural centre, the Hveragerði Art Gallery. He has also undertaken a range of other responsibilities, and contributed to the development of Icelandic culture, for instance as principal of the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts (forerunner of the Iceland Academy of the Arts), and as artistic director of Kjarvalsstaðir, Reykjavík Art Museum. Einar has held dozens of one-man shows, and his works are in art collections, public buildings and churches both in Iceland and abroad. 

Ingibergur Magnússon

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