Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir

Aran

Year
1963
Height
89.4 cm
Width
130 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir's artistic career is a kind of Cinderella story. From a very young age she had been interested in art, but she never attended art school in Iceland. In 1959, after working for the Agricultural Society of Iceland for 12 years, she uprooted herself and went to Paris to study art. She was admitted to the Académie Julien but soon discovered that it was not the place for her, and she then started seeking guidance from French artists. Before long she had become acquainted with some of the best known artists in Paris, among them Victor Vasarely, who agreed to supervise her. Eyborg's rapid progress and her quick and decisive response to the art she saw was extraordinary in view of her very limited previous artistic training. By 1962–63 Eyborg was already painting fine works which were somewhere between the formalism of strict geometric art and the visual stimulus of Optical Art (Op Art). It is no coincidence that Eyborg chose this route, since back in Iceland she had spent time with Hörður Ágústsson, Þorvaldur Skúlason and Dieter Roth, who were all proponents of strict geometric principles and meticulous structure in their art. Experiments with the movement of forms and optical vibration are also seen in the works of Dieter and Hörður from the late 1950s, and Eyborg’s art responded to their work. This piece, Aran, is not strictly a pure Op Art piece, but rather a strict geometric work with an unusual formal arrangement and size. The composition is entirely vertical and horizontal, but instead of underlining the two-dimensionality of the plane – more or less an article of faith in geometric art – Eyborg opens up the piece inwards by applying layers of transparent paint on top of each other. Thus an optical motion is created in three dimensions, rather than only on the surface of the plane. The artist sticks to tones of the same colour, which was also a distinguishing feature of the art of her principal mentor in Paris at the time – Vasarely.

Other works by artist