Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Svavar Guðnason

Hvítalog

Year
1968
Height
90.5 cm
Width
135 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

In the early 1960s Svavar Guðnason abandoned the geometric art of the 1950s, and once again sought inspiration in nature. Júlíana Gottskálksdóttir says of this transformation in an exhibition catalogue from 1990: “Even so, his works did not become a repetition of what he had done before, but rather it was as if he sought to dissolve all form, and allow the brush strokes to play freely on the picture plane. The influence of nature was obvious and the expression lyrical, sometimes even impressionistic as in the pieces Leysing (Thaw), Ljósflökt (Shimmer) and Ljósblik (Flash), all painted in 1962. The colour is sometimes applied thinly with a palette knife so that the canvas is visible through it and the effect is reminiscent of watercolours. The transparency of the colour leads the mind to the mutability of nature which the artist depicts and which the names of the paintings indicate. … Svavar had in fact worked toward the same ends during the war years in Copenhagen, but in a more Expressionistic manner and rather from memory of nature than direct experience.” (Júlíana Gottskálksdóttir: Svavar Guðnason 1909–1988, p. 46). This new “natural Expressionism” may be said to have been first fully realised in the large- scale painting The Weather (240 x 400 cm) which the artist painted for Statens Kunstfond (Danish State Art Fund) in 1963. Júlíana says of this piece: “The softly drawn paths of colour seem to undulate along the picture plane in a certain rhythm or grapple with one another. … Every bit of the painting is in motion, and the rhythm of the forms leads the mind to a raging torrent of water.” (Júlíana Gottskálksdóttir: ibid., p. 47–49).

Other works by artist