Hringur Jóhannesson

  • Year : 1983
  • Height : 100 cm
  • Width : 85 cm
  • Category : Málverk
  • Sub-category : Olíumálverk

Throughout his artistic career Hringur Jóhannesson used to spend most of every summer at his childhood home at Hagi in Aðaldalur, north Iceland, working with the material he had accumulated over the winter, as well as what he saw around him there. From the outset Hringur drew landscapes, animals and various objects he came across, and around 1970 he was painting Realist paintings of everyday things. The subjects of most of these paintings were urban in nature; there are over-sized paintings of a razor, a mailbox, a door, eyeglasses, as well as pieces connected with travel: car mirrors, headlights, tyre tracks and traffic lights. In 1971 Hringur had established a comfortable studio at Hagi where he had space to paint larger pieces. Around the middle of the 1970s he began to re-examine various old motifs “with the aim of adding to their visual dignity and impact” (Aðalsteinn Ingólfsson: Hringur Jóhannesson, p. 70). Among them were items from his homestead at Hagi: haystacks, barrels, hay-tedders, etc. In his foreword to Aðalsteinn's book on the artist, Björn Th. Björnsson writes: “Just as the sky can be reflected in a clear drop of water, so can the microcosm in Hringur's paintings can reference something far beyond itself. A tiny pond in a marsh, paths trodden by the hooves of the ages, ropes and buckles in a barn doorway, dandelion clocks against a blue sky, they are all at once visual experiences, a discovery of the eye, as well as a part of a land, nature and nation in a broader sense.” In these pieces, among them Midnight Light, the artist continues to respect “the coherent reality of the things or natural phenomena he paints. But light and the object are no longer clearly distinguished, as in previous paintings, but rather it is as if the object absorbs the light and becomes one with it” (Aðalsteinn Ingólfsson: ibid., p. 72).

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