Location: Ásmundarsafn sculpture garden.
Ásmundur made Washing the Floor in Reykjavík in 1950. An alternative title is Housekeeper. The sculpture depicts a squatting female figure washing a floor.
In many ways the work is at odds with the general trend of the artist’s oeuvre. The import of the piece relates to Ásmundur’s sculptures of people at work made in the 1930s, while in terms of form it is reminiscent of his works from the end of that decade, in which he subverts the conventional academic view.
In this work the artist distorts conventional anatomy and disrupts the proportions. Ásmundur’s visual perception expressed here is reminiscent of the formal language of Surrealism.
Like so many of the artist’s works, the sculpture is in equilibrium: the female figure’s symmetrical arms intersect with her symmetrical legs, while the flexed posture of the body conveys the motion of washing the floor. In this work the forms clearly reinforce the import of the piece: the large, swollen arms and shoulders highlight the hard labour depicted.