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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Jóhannes S. Kjarval

Gljúfrabúi (Draumaland)

Year
1908
Height
45.5 cm
Width
57 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

In August 1908, at the age of 23, Jóhannes Sveinsson opened his first exhibition in Reykjavík. The exhibition reflects his view of the future and his desire to make a career in art, and this exhibition may be said to mark the beginning of his artistic career. The exhibition attracted attention and was seen as indicating that the artist showed great talent and had a bright future in art. One of the pieces in the exhibition shows the waterfall Gljúfrabúi (literally canyon dweller) standing caped in the mouth of a cave between two cascades. While the piece is amateurish and even naïve in style, it is remarkable for being the first known piece by the artist where he personifies natural phenomena and combines this with landscape. Here we see in embryonic form his symbolic works; throughout his career he would work with and develop his ideas about the interplay of symbolic or supernatural beings and nature.

Other works by artist