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Minnismerki um Nínu Tryggvadóttur

Minnismerki um Nínu Tryggvadóttur

Sigurjón Ólafsson


  • Year : 1970-1971
  • Height : 690 cm
  • Width : 180 cm
  • Category : Skúlptúr
  • Sub-category : Blönduð tækni
My collection 

In front of Kjarvalsstaðir gallery. One rock is engraved with an inscription in memory of Nína Tryggvadóttir. Shortly after the death of artist Nína Tryggvadóttir (1913–68) her husband, US scientist/artist L. Alcopley, got in touch with Sigurjón Ólafsson, and asked him to make a stone for her grave. Sigurjón was happy to undertake the work, but he was unwilling to comply with the rules applying to the size of grave markers; thus he suggested to Alcopley that he should instead make a sculpture in Nina’s memory, which they would present jointly to the City of Reykjavík. Sigurjón completed the sculpture in 1974, and it was erected at the corner of the Kjarvalsstaðir gallery, and unveiled on 10 June that year. The work comprises a vertical bronze pillar that narrows in two places. These rounded forms interact with two pairs of iron rods that project from the work, creating an impression of a rounded female form, and also embracing the open space around the work. Birgitta Spur, the artist’s widow, has called the work “an ode to Woman,” combining softness with down-to-earth firmness, as witness the boulders on either side. Memorial to Nína is one of Sigurjón’s many “pillar” works such as Emblem of Iceland and High-Seat Pillars, evoking the motif of the erect human figure and also the totem poles of indigenous peoples (see these two works on this website). It also bears a resemblance to some of Sigurjón’s copper bas-reliefs. After a thorough renovation in 2007, carried out by sculptor Helgi Gíslason, the work was erected in new location in front of the gallery (not centrally, of course, but at an angle to the entrance).

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