Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Ásmundur Sveinsson

Gegnum hljóðmúrinn

Year
1952
Height
cm
Width
300 cm
Category
Skúlptúr
Sub-category
Málmskúlptúr

Location: At Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura Through the Sound Barrier was made in Reykjavík in 1952, of sheet copper. In 1966 it was enlarged to a height of four metres and installed outside Hotel Loftleiðir (now Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura) by Reykjavík domestic airport. In this work Ásmundur has abandoned objective reality. The sculpture does not depict any specific object, but a concept of power and speed. It is the artist’s own inner vision, though referencing its time and evoking ideas about aviation, technology and the Space Age, which at that period was opening up previously unknown prospects to the human mind. Yet, while Ásmundur has here turned away from an imagery which is directly representative, the work and its title may be said to evoke a specific environment and situation. In terms of form the sculpture comprises a circle around a pointed form. In the circular element the artist appears to be aiming for an idea of formlessness (hard to achieve in sculpture), and hence all indications are that it represents a cloud. And the smooth roundedness of the circle is underlined by the arrow-shape that slices through it, pointed and hard. It is a clearly definable form which cuts through the circle, and it can easily be seen as standing for an aircraft or rocket. Ásmundur said in a press interview that he had had the idea for the piece the first time he travelled by plane. While the sculpture does not specifically depict that flight (it was originally called Skýjaklýfir or Cloudsplitter) there is no doubt that the artist’s vision was grounded in a realistic scene. It may be called an abstract depiction of flight. Owned by: Icelandair Hotels

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