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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Einar Þorláksson

Upprisa - abstrakt mynd

Year
1971
Height
114 cm
Width
139 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

Einar Þorláksson was in many ways a loner in Icelandic art, both for personal reasons and because of a disease which led to his becoming isolated from the community of artists. At a very young age he became interested in Surrealism and drew pictures in that style. In the early 1950s he went to study in Holland, the first Icelandic artist to do so; he came into contact with Surrealism and the art of the COBRA group. From the outset Einar painted in strong and often contrasting colours, without preparation, in the spirit of spontaneous art. His imagery seems somewhere in between the abstract and the concrete, often with a narrative, even comical or ironic twist. The ideas for his paintings came from many different sources, not least from the artist’s own imagination, other visual art or from literature. This piece, Resurrection – an abstract picture, is in many ways representative of Einar's art in the 1970s and 80s. Oddly cold, bleak hues of blue create a disquieting atmosphere in the painting. The picture plane is divided into foreground, middleground and background in a quite traditional way, and the horizon is clearly marked at the top of the plane. The forms of the painting are somewhere in between nature – lava rock, cliffs and moss – and organic symbolism of another kind. The painting certainly depicts a kind of “resurrection”, though not in the biblical sense of the word. From the lava field rise mounds or piles reminiscent of monsters from horror and fantasy films like the Alien movies, with indications of a gaping maw here, fangs there, and staring eyes. It is as if these “beings” are intending to take over the earth. We do not know exactly what forces Einar alludes to here, whether they are internal or external. His artistic view is often characterised by pessimism, but with an admixture of dark humour and self-mockery.

Other works by artist