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29 May 2015

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[UK]

OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY MAY 29TH FROM 5.00-7.30 PM
STEINUNN THÓRARINSDÓTTIR / PLACES / 29.05.-20.06.2015

Gallery Christoffer Egelund proudly present the exhibtion PLACES by the Islandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir.

Walking into Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir’s Reykjavík studio can be a little disconcerting at first, even daunting, as if you had crossed a threshold of some kind and entered another dimension, another world. It is also astonishing. The crowd of life-sized and partial figures of plaster, cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum, bronze and glass encountered throughout the several rooms seem to be a special breed of beings, anonymous, androgynous, part human, part alien. Scattered about the studio are also many sculptures of beautiful wings, surely a sign of visitants from other worlds. Some of these figures are free-standing, others are hung on the walls or seem to emerge from them. Still others were placed on pedestals while the unfinished pieces were stretched out on tables as if anaesthetized, waiting to be awakened by the artist’s transformative, animating touch.

Thórarinsdóttir has always made figurative sculpture and since 1977, the forms have been primarily life-sized. She wants her sculpture to occupy the same space as the viewer, not confrontationally but as doppelgangers and alter egos, as something directly experienced. Her preference for figuration was not common at the time and because of it, instead of first studying at the Iceland Academy of the Arts where almost all Icelandic artists go for their foundation courses before completing a degree abroad, Thórarinsdóttir went to England and attended Portsmouth College of Art and Design, then the Portsmouth Polytechnic, completing her education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy, all institutions where the figure was admired and taught. In Iceland, in Reykjavík, her uncanny progeny appear everywhere, familiar presences on the streets of the city, around the harbor, in public and private buildings, churches, parks and other locations.

As an artist who frequently shows internationally, her figures slip effectively into other locations in repercussive dialogue with the selected site. Innovatively installed, with theatrical flair, they are sometimes presented as haunting ensembles of upright figures by the sea, encircled by ancient trees, poised on gleaming elongated pedestals that loft them skyward into the blue or replicated in shining panels that function as backdrops. Other times they appear as a single figure or in pairs, seated on a park bench, a rocky outcropping, or standing, arms and head thrown back, facing the world yet enveloped in their own poignant silence and solitude. One particularly gripping figure—in reality a head and torso–was placed on the ground as if buried, its head facing upward, arms pressed to its sides in Job-like pain and resignation. A recent work consists of two cast iron heads and torsos close together, their powdery surfaces a beautiful orange-gold, emerging from a square four-foot tall plinth, their reaction centrifugal as they pull away from each, separate but proximate, a microcosm of the human condition.

Lilly Wei is a New York-based independent curator, essayist and critic who contributes to several publications in the United States and abroad. She writes regularly for Art in America and is a contributing editor at ARTnews.

Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Europe, Japan, Australia and USA. Among them are Scandinavia Today touring USA and Japan, The Beijing Biennale, Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, Kolonialen, Opening exhibition of the North Atlantic Bridge in Copenhagen, Heads, Figures and Ideas at Osborne Samuel in London, Fresh Figures and Abstractions at Scott White Contemporary in California, The National Gallery of Iceland and The Reykjavík Art Museum, Sculpture at Pilane in Sweden with 7 other sculptors, among them are Tony Cragg, Ursula von Rydingsvard and Jittish Kallat.

Her work is in many prominent public and private collections worldwide. Among them are The National Gallery of Iceland, The City of Reykjavík, The collection of Carl XVI Gustav, the King of Sweden, The State Hospital in Copenhagen, The Danish Banker´s Association, Hall Financial Group in Texas, Kathryn Hall Vineyards in California, Royal Carribbean, Cliff Lede Vineyards, The Estate of Sir Rocco and Lady Forte in England, The University of Aberdeen, Scotland, The City of Hull in England, The Elgiz Museum, Istanbul, The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, The Brauer Museum, USA, Mission Hill Family Estate, BC, Canada and Cawdor Castle in Scotland.

Galleri Christoffer Egelund cordially invites you to the opening of Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir “Places” Friday the 29th of May from 16-19. The artist will be present during the opening reception. The exhibition will run until 20th of June 2015. Opening hours: Monday-Friday from 11-18, Saturdays from 12-16. For further information and press photographs, please contact the gallery at: info@christofferegelund.dk or at +45 33 93 92 00.

[DK]

ÅBNINGSRECEPTION FREDAG DEN 29 MAJ FRA KL. 17-19.30
STEINUNN THÓRARINSDÓTTIR / PLACES / 29.05.-20.06.2015

Galleri Christoffer Egelund er stolt af at kunne præsentere udstillingen PLACES med den Islandske kunstner Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir.

Lige når man kommer ind i Steinunn Thórarinsdóttirs atelier i Reykjavik, kan man godt blive lidt forvirret eller ligefrem overvældet, som om man havde overskredet en tærskel til en anden dimension, en anden verden. Man bliver i hvert fald forbløffet. Alle de legemsstore menneskelignende skulpturer i hel figur eller mindre af gips, støbejern, rustfrit stål, aluminium, bronze og glas, som man møder i de mange rum, synes at tilhøre en særlig art af væsener, anonyme og androgyne, halvt menneske og halvt alien. Rundt omkring i atelieret finder man også adskillige skulpturer af smukke vinger, et tydeligt tegn på, at der er gæster fra andre verdener. Nogle af disse figurer står frit, andre hænger på væggene eller synes at komme ud af dem. Andre igen er anbragt på piedestaler, mens de ufærdige ligger udstrakt på borde, som om de var bedøvet og ventede på at blive vækket af kunstnerens forvandlende og livgivende berøring.

Thórarinsdóttir har altid lavet figurative skulpturer, og siden 1977 har de hovedsagelig været i legemsstørrelse. Hun ønskede, at hendes skulpturer skulle befinde sig i samme rum som beskueren, ikke på en konfronterende måde, men som dobbeltgængere og alter egoer, som noget, man kunne opleve direkte. På det tidspunkt var det ikke så almindeligt at foretrække figurative skulpturer, og derfor begyndte hun ikke sine studier på Islands Kunstakademi, hvor næsten alle islandske kunstnere får deres grunduddannelse, før de studerer videre i udlandet. Thórarinsdóttir tog i stedet til England og studerede ved Portsmouth College of Art and Design, som dengang hed Portsmouth Polytechnic, og færdiggjorde sin uddannelse ved Kunstakademiet i Bologna – begge var institutioner, hvor man beundrer og underviser i figurative skulpturer. I Reykjavik finder man hendes fremmedartede skabninger alle vegne, og de er velkendte skikkelser i byens gader, ved havnen, i offentlige og private bygninger, kirker, parker og andre steder.

Thórarinsdóttir udstiller ofte internationalt, og hendes figurer falder godt ind i andre omgivelser og indgår i en dynamisk dialog med det valgte sted. De bliver installeret på innovative måder med sans for det teatralske og bliver f.eks. præsenteret som udtryksfulde grupper af oprejste figurer ved havet, omgivet af gamle træer, tronende på glitrende, aflange piedestaler, som løfter dem højt op i den blå himmel, eller spejlet i blanke paneler, der fungerer som baggrund. Andre gange optræder de enkeltstående eller parvis, siddende på en parkbænk eller en klippeknold eller stående med armene og hovedet kastet tilbage, vendt ud mod verden, men samtidig indhyllet i deres egen rørende stilhed og ensomhed. En særlig gribende figur – som faktisk består af et hoved og en torso – var anbragt på jorden, som om den var halvt begravet, med armene presset ind til siden i en smerte og resignation, der gav mindelser om Job. Et nyere værk består af to støbejernshoveder og -torsoer med en ru overflade i en smuk orangegul farve, der er anbragt tæt sammen, som om de kommer ud af en firkantet, 1½ meter høj sokkel. De antyder en centrifugal bevægelse, idet de trækker sig væk fra hinanden, adskilte, men tæt sammen, en miniatureudgave af menneskelivet.

Lily Wei er en selvstændig kurator, skribent og kritiker bosat i New York, som har skrevet bidrag til mange publikationer i USA og andre lande. Hun skriver regelmæssigt for Art in America og er skrivende redaktør af ARTnews.

Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir har deltaget i adskillige gruppeudstillinger i Europa, Japan, Australien og USA. Disse omfatter blandt andet Scandinavia Today, som turnerede i USA og Japan, Biennalen i Peking, Sculpture by the Sea i Sydney, Kolonialen, åbningsudstillingen på Nordatlantens Brygge i København, Heads, Figures and Ideas på Osborne Samuel i London, Fresh Figures and Abstractions på Scott White Contemporary i Californien, Islands Nationalgalleri og Reykjaviks Kunstmuseum og Sculpture at Pilane i Sverige sammen med syv andre billedhuggere, bl.a. Tony Cragg, Ursula von Rydingsvard og Jittish Kallat.

Hendes værker findes i mange prominente offentlige og private samlinger verden over, bl.a. Islands Nationalgalleri, Reykjavik by, kong Carl XVI Gustav af Sveriges samling, Rigshospitalet i København, Den Danske Bankforening, Hall Financial Group i Texas, Kathryn Hall Vineyards i Californien, Royal Carribbean, Cliff Lede Vineyards, The Estate of Sir Rocco and Lady Forte i England, The University of Aberdeen, Skotland, byen Hull i England, Elgiz Museum i Istanbul, Istanbuls Museum for Moderne Kunst, The Brauer Museum i USA, Mission Hill Family Estate, BC i Canada og Cawdor Castle i Skotland.

Galleri Christoffer Egelund inviterer dig til fernisering af udstillingen “Places” af Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir fredag den 29. maj kl. 17-19.30. Kunstneren vil være til stede under ferniseringen. Udstillingen vises frem til den 20. juni 2015. Åbningstider: mandag-fredag kl. 11-18, lørdag kl. 12-16. For yderligere information om udstillingen samt pressefotos, kontakt venligst galleriet på: info@christofferegelund.dk eller på +45 33 93 92 00.

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