Exhibition Opening − SOMETHING from NOTHING: The Visual Realm of Magnús Pálsson

Exhibition Opening − SOMETHING from NOTHING: The Visual Realm of Magnús Pálsson

Exhibition opening at Reykjavík Art Museum - Hafnarhús, Saturday, 28 September at 16h00.

The Visual Realm of Magnús Pálsson


Reykjavík Art Museum introduces a retrospect exhibition on the works of Artist Magnús Pálsson in Hafnarhús. Magnús Pálsson´s career has been remarkable for the breadth of his activities and his influence.  As a teacher, he has had an immense effect on generations of artists. In theater he has created innovative stage sets and experimental plays. As a performance artist, Pálsson is unquestionably a pioneer. In visual art, he is a key player in the great changes that occurred in the field in the sixties and seventies. Revising the nature of artistic creation, a new imagery came about based on a critical stance towards art history up until then, but at the same time opening new ways to the future. Pálsson introduced works that, in some ways, were in the spirit of fluxus, pop and conceptual art, but have proven to be quite unique.

Pálsson´s works will be on view in five different exhibition galleries at Hafnarhús as well as in the halls and outside the building. The exhibition is made in collaboration with Pálsson´s family who lends many pieces for the exhibition.

Pálsson is born in 1929 and will celebrate his 90th birthday this year. Pálsson has influenced Icelandic art for a long time and worked with theatre, writing, music as well as visual art.  

The Icelandic Sound Poetry Choir will perform at the opening. Magnús Pálsson founded founded the choir in 2003. He has composed many works especially for the choir – and the latest years the choir has played a big role in his works. The work that will be performed at the opening is a part of an installation that is called About the Car.  

Hjálmar Sveinsson, Chairman of Reykjavík Committee of Culture, Sport and Leisure will open the exhibition. formaður menningar-, íþrótta- og tómstundaráðs opnar sýninguna.
Curators are Markús Þór Andrésson og Sigurður Trausti Traustason.

In 2013, the Reykjavík Art Museum focused on Magnús Pálsson's performances from 1980 to 2013 in the exhibition The Sound of a Bugle in a Shoebox, produced in collaboration with the Reykjavík Arts Festival. This time, in SOMETHING from NOTHING, the focus is on the visual realm found in physical works by the artist. Selected pieces from the early sixties till today reflect the fertile ways of thinking that Pálsson has always shown in sculptures, bookworks and two-dimensional works. The exhibition has works from the museum collection, loans from private and public collections and from the artist's studio.

Reykjavík Art Museum preserves the Magnús Pálsson Archive, which the artist has built over many decades. Preserved in just about three hundred boxes, the material provides an invaluable insight into Pálsson's artistic creation.