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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Ásmundur Sveinsson

Svörtu skýin

Year
1947
Height
90 cm
Width
cm
Category
Skúlptúr
Sub-category
Steinskúlptúr

In the autumn 1947 Ásmundur’s five-year-old daughter died tragically in a car accident. That year he made Black Clouds, the most poignant expression of grief and loss in all Icelandic visual art. The title is ambiguous, alluding on the one hand to literal heavy storm clouds, and on the other to the dark night of the soul. The sculpture is made in concrete and obsidian – weighty, dark materials which bring out the emotional turmoil it expresses. The monumental figure of a mother gazes up into the sky in despair, spreading out her arms as if to enfold her child in her arms – but her embrace is empty. The void, the negative of form, is at the centre of the piece, and is also the import of the work. The one who should be there, is no more.

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