Exhibition Opening: Ólöf Nordal: Úngl

Exhibition Opening: Ólöf Nordal: Úngl

A retrospective of the work of artist Ólöf Nordal, Úngl, will open at Reykjavík Art Museum – Kjarvalsstaðir, Saturday 19 October at 16h00.

The pieces displayed span Nordal's career of almost thirty years. The exhibition is a part of the museum's goal of presenting the careers of distinguished, contemporary artists.

Ólöf Nordal often refers to folklore, national heritage and cultural memory in her works which she puts in a modern context – often in an ironic way. Nature and our relationship with the land are also her mind. In new works at the exhibition, Nordal uses old methods of turf loading and mashing in an interesting way. Guests are given the opportunity to get acquainted with her work and at the same time the cultural source she seeks in the material of her work; works that show deep awareness of the past, but reflect in a fiery way on our present time and future.

The title of the exhibition Úngl refers to the legend of Kolbeinn „glacier poet“, where Kolbeinn challenges Kölski (e. the Devil) in a kind of poignant duel and has better by using the word "úngl" as a rhyme to the Icelandic word "tungl" (e. moon). The duel ends with Kölski falling from the rock - Kolbeinn's creative use of the language has a victory. The creativity and the power that comes with it creates its own truth and gives us as an opportunity to experience new thinking or a new approach to older subjects. In this way, Ólöf Nordal seeks the history of culture and history of the past to create new truths for us. In all her works you can see how she uses knowledge of Icelandic culture to touch on various urgent challenges of our time.

Ólöf Nordal is known for her diverse work and is prominent in the city – one of the best known is Thufa, which can be seen at Grandi. Nordal´s works have been exhibited at all major exhibition venues in Iceland, and also internationally. She was born in 1961 in Denmark. She studied at the Iceland Academy of Arts and Crafts 1981-85, at the Gerrit Rietvelt Academie in the Netherlands in 1985, at the Cranbrook Academy of Art 1989-91 in the USA and at the Yale University of Fine Arts in 1991-93.

The exhibition Úngl is the third in a series of annual exhibitions at Kjarvalsstaðir, where the focus is on the process of working artists who have already created with their full authoring characteristics a glimpse into Icelandic art history.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Reykjavik Art Museum publishes a comprehensive exhibition catalog with photographs of the exhibition, pictures of works and texts about Nordal herself and her subjects. Art historian Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir discusses the attraction of the origins, French art historian Didier Semin writes an article about international connections in Nordal´s works and Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, writer and artist, evokes the voice of the artist herself in a conversation with her. The exhibition will be followed by an extensive program.

Curator and editor of the catalogue is Ólöf Kristín Sigurðardóttir, Director of Reykjavík Art Museum. Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, writer and artist will open the exhibition.