Án titils / Skissa fyrir Sur-Atom syrpuna

Án titils / Skissa fyrir Sur-Atom syrpuna


  • Year : 1957
  • Height : 32 cm
  • Width : 48.2 cm
  • Category : Teikning
  • Sub-category : Gvassmynd

In 1957, Erró was back in Reykjavík for the opening of his first solo exhibition in Iceland, at the Reykjavik Artists’ House. He had at his disposal a studio at the Reykjavík Technical College, where he produced the turbulent Sur-Atom series. These drawings on paper recall his apocalyptic Florentine Carcasses series in that their leitmotif is destruction, suffering and death. Here, however, the evil has a name: the militarized atom that had made a spectacular entrance into history with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, and which during the 1950s loomed menacingly over humanity with the intensification of the Cold War and the development of nuclear arsenals. Through their dynamic entangling of grimacing, screaming atomized figures, these works highlight the gruesome alliance between techno-scientific progress and the logic of war. Rapidly drawn and colored, they reflect a wild, raw creativity. Erró uses expressive lines of varying thickness and a reduced palette of a few contrasting colors to sketch violent and aggressive scenes in which the drama is enhanced by a tight framing, indifferent to any notion of depth. In this quest for an emotive art—and in these hairless, unindividualized heads, sunken eyes, and gaping mouths—we may discern a distant echo of Munch’s The Scream.

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