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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Jóhannes S. Kjarval

Land og loft

174 cm
110 cm

Abstract pieces in the Cubist spirit were part of Kjarval's varied flora of works from the 1920s and possibly earlier, and this type of work cropped up every once in a while throughout his career. The formal structure of the pieces was usually a variation on the same theme, diamonds and squares in geometric patterns, sometimes with a resonance of mountains silhouetted on the horizon. Among his works from the 1960s are large, ambitious abstracts such as Land and Air from 1965. This piece differs from his previous abstracts in that the picture space has depth. The rhythm of the piece is achieved by playing with the contrast of bright, light tones on one hand and dark, heavy ones on the other; there is also a tension between small, simple forms and large composite ones. This complicated interplay of form, colour, and vertical and horizontal lines embodies simultaneously motion and equilibrium. Although in this piece the artist has broken the direct relationship with objective reality, nature is still present as a recollection or an undertone behind the colours and forms.

Other works by artist