Last days of the exhibition Calm

Louisa Matthíasdóttir: Calm at Kjarvalsstaðir.

The last day of the exhibition Calm at Kjarvalsstaðir is Sunday, 17 September. The exhibition spans the whole career of Louisa Matthíasdóttir (1917-2000), paintings oftend described by their clear light and brilliant color. Matthíasdóttir was true to painting Icelandic landscapes, although she spent most of her life abroad. She painted scenes from Reykjavík, still lifes frome her own kitchen, and also many portraits of her family and herself.

Matthíasdóttir moved to the United States in 1943 and lived there until she died in the year 2000. She was active on the Icelandic art scene and exhibited in Iceland although she spent most of her life away from her homeland. When Matthíasdóttir was 17 years old she moved to Copenhagen, Denmark and studied at School for Arts and Crafts. Three years later she went to Paris, France and stayed there for a year in the company of Marcel Gromaire at the Maison Watteu.

From 1939 she spent her time in Iceland among artists and writers until she went to New York where she studied with the teacher Hans Hoffmann in Greewich Village. There she met her husband, the painter Leland Bell. They found their place in the Jane Street Gallery cooperative, along with other artists that had studied with Hoffmann. Louisa Matthíasdóttir opened her first exhibition in the Jane Street Gallery in 1948, then 31 years old.