Exhibition Opening – Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir: Circle, Square and Line

Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir: Partition I, 1966.

On Museum Night, Friday, 8 February at 17h00 sees the opening of a retrospective of the career of artist Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir (1924-1977) in Reykjavík Art Museum at Kjarvalsstaðir. Curators are art history student Heba Helgadóttir and artist Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir.

The exhibition is titled Circle, Square and Line which is a quote to Eyborg’s words describing the basic forms of geometric art. Author and art historian Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir will address the guests at the opening.

Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir was a prolific artist, although her career was short. She worked as an artist and a designer for around sixteen years and left almost two hundred artworks.  She kept company with artists in Reykjavík and Paris and learned from them. Her main mentors were the Swiss-German artist Dieter Roth – whom she met with regularly in Iceland – and in Paris she received tutelage from artists like Georges Folmer and Victor Vasarely, the latter one being called “the grandfather” of Op-Art (optical). Op-Art emphasises the relationship between the viewer and the work and tries to change the viewer’s perception through colours, forms and light.

Between 1963 and 67, Eyborg participated in group exhibitions in Paris. She gave three solo exhibitions in Iceland, in the National Museum in 1965, at Mokka Café in 1966 and in the Nordic House in 1975, which was also her last exhibition. Many undoubtedly know Eyborg’s work which hangs in the window of Mokka Café at Skólavörðustígur. Apart from painting, Eyborg designed book covers, exhibition catalogues, magazine covers and a beautiful banister in the Women’s House in Hallveigarstaðir at Túngata, which she finished in 1966.

The retrospective at Kjarvalsstaðir has almost one hundred artworks, including paintings, Plexiglas imagers, bas-reliefs and designs. The curators have been meticulous in their selection and most of the work is privately owned.

There are two curators: Heba Helgadóttir and Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir. Heba (b. 1961)has studied art history at the University of Iceland, where she is researching Eyborg’s work for her thesis. Ingibjörg (b. 1985) finished her BA from the visual art department of Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2010 and has participated in exhibitions, performances and other projects in Iceland and abroad. Ingibjörg is one of the organisers of Kling&Bang Gallery.