Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Ásmundur Sveinsson

Fýkur yfir hæðir

Year
1933
Height
95 cm
Width
50 cm
Category
Skúlptúr
Sub-category
Málmskúlptúr

Location: Hallveigarstaðir, Túngata. Moorland Flight was made when Ásmundur lived and worked in the old leprosy hospital at Laugarnes in Reykjavík, 1931–3. The sculpture depicts a woman holding a baby in her arms. In this work the artist distils the human figure into a few essential features, seeking to bring out the mass in the work, while also endowing the piece with a graceful movement through the female figure. The texture is smooth and even, serving primarily to define the forms and the mass. While the artist observes the proportions of the human body, there is no attempt at visual illusion, and thus the sculpture gives an impression symbolic significance. The artist spoke to editor Matthías Johannessen about this beautiful yet melancholy sculpture in Bókin um Ásmund: “I made it at Laugarnes. There was a blizzard raging outside, and I had the idea of making a sculpture of a woman trying to protect her child. A little boy came to me later, saw the sketch and said: ‘I know what the title of that picture is.’ ‘And what is the title?’ I asked. ‘Moorland Flight,’ said the boy. And it was only then that [19th-century romantic poet] Jónas Hallgrímsson had anything to do with the sculpture.” The title Fýkur yfir hæðir/Moorland Flight is drawn from the poem Móðurást/Motherly Love by Jónas Hallgrímsson, which recounts the tragic tale of a mother carrying her infant son across the moors in a storm, losing her life but saving the child.

Other works by artist