Richard Serra, Magnús Sigurðarson and Kathy Clark at Hafnarhús-Opening on Thursday 21 May at 5 p.m.

Serra, Áfangar

Three exhibitions will be opened at Reykjavík Art Museum, Hafnarhús on Thursday 21 May at 5 p.m. Áfangar by Richard Serra, Process and Pretense Magnús Sigurðarson and bears;truths... by Kathy Clark. 

The exhibition Áfangar by Richard Serra( b. 1939) in Hafnarhús includes 19 drawings of the environmental work Áfangar made by Serra in 1990 at Viðey Island , in oil pastel on paper, and presented to the National Gallery of Iceland. In addition thirty works of graphic art – etchings and prints – from 1991 are shown. These are in the collection of the Landsbanki bank. Three videos by Sveinn M. Sveinsson (Plús film) are also shown in the exhibition, projected simultaneously onto three walls of C gallery.The bond between the exhibition and the environmental work itself on Viðey Island is underlined by regular ferry services to the island. Guided tours will be available in Hafnarhús and on Viðey every Saturday in June, July and August. Four week-long art/nature courses are also offered for children and youngsters. 
Richard Serra (b. 1939) is one of the most renowned artists of today. Many leading museums have hosted exhibitions of his work, such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York (2010) and MoMA. His works have twice been shown at the Venice Biennale, and four times at Documenta in Kassell, Germany – and at many, many more venues – for Serra has been called a “giant of modern art.”
The exhibition is on the programme of the Reykjavík Arts Festival. 
Curator is Hafþór Yngvason.

Magnús Sigurðarson: Process and Pretense
Process and Pretense is Magnús Sigurðarson (b. 1966) first one-person exhibition in Iceland for many years, having lived in Miami, USA for over a decade. The artist says that he has made the analysis of the obvious his subject; he halts when the everyday presents him with a moment of such banality that it requires further investigation. His works thus have existential overtones, addressing the theme of the human being in his/her solitude, and the constant quest for means of expression and understanding between people. Magnús is best known for photographic series, video art and installations in which he references familiar features of pop culture, the media and general knowledge. In his exhibition at Hafnarhús he addresses the universal human desire for higher things, which may lie hidden anywhere you go. Curator is Markús Þór Andrésson. Programme: Artist’s talk,Saturday 23 May 3 p.m.

Kathy Clark: bears; truths…
“bangsavættir / brears; truths…”, is Kathy Clark’s first solo exhibition in an official establishment of Reykjavik. An installation displaying thousands of teddy bears, the artist heavily manipulates these pre-owned toys. At one time fulfilling their fundamental natural objective of companionship to the children of Reykjavik, these soft and cuddly teddies served an important purpose. They were brought to bed and slept with, dragged around, dressed, nurtured and cried to. Sadly, like most things, they eventually lose their usefulness and are abandoned. But now, perhaps they carry an energy from their past owners. If these bears could talk, would they reveal knowledge of their former child?

Clark uses wax on the stuffed bears to achieve a number of effects. She chooses to wrap some bears in thread and dips them in wax to make grotesque distorted forms; with others, she slices them up and empties out their stuffing before pouring hot wax over the limp pelts; and then there are those that she cuts up into pieces, and sews back together. Though never in their original form, the malformed creatures look even more peculiar when she manipulates thick textural wax on their fur. Clark stages each component in an arrangement that dictates an odyssey; repeats symbolically charged icons; and conceives elaborated titles for particular pieces. Her installation radiates a psychological perversion that she has single-mindedly plotted out using a system of her own. The anarchic disarray of stuffed toy bears that are, either singularly or altogether, waxed, tied up, sewn, glued, emptied, mangled—are schemes to conjure and orchestrate memories, including a sense of dejection, abandonment, and neglect.

The journey through the installation takes one through a living room, a cloud covered cemetery, a field of Cairns, a family portrait gallery, bear trees, among many others. Eerily lit with a litany of background sound effects, this environment is a powerful maximalist display of an enigmatic universe meant to invoke recollections of ones’ childhood passage through life.