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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Ásmundur Sveinsson

Rafmagnið

Year
1955
Height
126 cm
Width
36 cm
Category
Skúlptúr
Sub-category
Málmskúlptúr

Electricity, made in 1954-5, is a copper piece. In 1960 it was enlarged, and installed at the Írafoss hydro-electric plant on the Sog river in south Iceland. Electricity is an abstract sculpture expressing the idea of electricity. It stands on a sturdy pedestal, from which a soaring form emerges to culminate in a whorl-form, which is replicated in the lower part of the sculpture. The piece is thus made up of antitheses: stability and lightness, stasis and speed. These contrasts make for a tension which gives rise to ideas about the phenomenon of electricity. As stated above, Electricity is an abstract work. Yet in Ásmundur’s work abstraction is almost never inward-looking, self-sufficient; it is generally an abstraction of something – in this case electricity. As a rule, Ásmundur’s abstracts refer to some idea – an invisible, intangible reality – and hence they are invariably laden with meaning. In this piece we may say that Ásmundur has made an intangible idea visible. Interviewed by editor Matthías Johannessen in Bókin um Ásmund the artist said: “I have taken the liberty of making a non-figurative image of electricity, because I’ve never seen figurative electricity.”

Other works by artist