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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Kristján Davíðsson

Glæður - Abstrakt mynd

Year
1966
Height
205 cm
Width
242 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

Kristján Davíðsson was a pioneer of lyrical abstract art in the latter half of the 1950s. His lyrical abstractions are always based on the experience of nature, and after a period of amorphism in his art from 1956–60 he once again makes more reference to nature. This development is described by Aðalsteinn Ingólfsson in his book Kristján Davíðsson: “His canvases grow larger, the brushwork more urgent, powerful, the colours richer and the morphology more ambiguous. Impressions from nature are combined with childhood memories from the West Fjords, where the landscape is more stupendous than anywhere else in Iceland. The scenery in turn brings up memories of frightening people or events connected with them, and maybe even the music of the wind in a half-forgotten place and time.” (p.18). Halldór Björn Runólfsson describes Kristján's art in the 1960s in an exhibition catalogue from 2007: “From the thick, straight brushstrokes, or mosaic-fragments made with a palette knife, undeniably reminiscent of sculpted basalt columns or a sheer cliff face, soft and playful brushwork evolved in the course of the 1960s. The thickness of the paint thus gradually decreases, and its chiselled look gave way to undulating even brushstrokes … During the 1960s the chiselled style described above began to cleave like tectonic plates, admitting pure colour into cracks and crevasses, often blue, but also red and yellow” (Halldór Björn Runólfsson: Kristján Davíðsson, p. 24). In Embers most of the picture plane is devoted to variations on organic forms, not unlike those found in the freest of Kjarval's landscapes; features are discernible reminiscent of lava, rocks, grassy fields, canyons, crevasses and various ornaments of nature. Kristján drives home his landscape “happening” by creating a “horizon” at the top of the picture plane. At the same time he does the opposite, opens up the painting on the left, giving the feeling that the “landscape” is suspended in mid-air, and is therefore obviously a fabrication, somewhere between the realms of the concrete and the abstract.

Other works by artist