Gudlaug Mia Eythorsdottir
A series of exhibitions was held at the Reykjavik Art Museum in the summer of 2015 under the Icelandic title Kunstchlager. In English, this title is a combination of the rather highbrow word ‘art’ and the more popular term ‘hits’. It was appropriate that one of the exhibitors in the Kunstchlager or ‘Art Hits’ summer series was Gudlaug Mia Eythorsdottir. Icelandic art has certain similarities with the taste in popular music in Iceland. Rather than the sort of music that normally tops the pop charts in other countries, Iceland instead has a strong culture of avant garde and highly experimental music. So it was no accident that Eythorsdottir’s sculptures fitted the bill under this series title. And you could say that Helgi Thorsson and Shoplifter from Iceland, who are also exhibiting at OpenART this year, are part of the same intimate musical family tribe. They all relate to each other and you could even extend the family connection to the world-famous musician Björk who has emerged from the same popular culture found on Iceland.
In the small galleries at Storbron in Örebro, Eythorsdottir’s recent sculptures are being exhibited and they provide a good introduction to her work. Her sculptures are often playful and colourful while paying no respect to the classical sculpture tradition. This is art that would not be out of place with the decor of a kindergarten or child’s room. It is invitingly executed on two-dimensional surfaces and in three-dimensional objects. The only rule is that there are no rules. Setting any prestige aside and without worrying about what the highbrow academics and art critics might say, she lets her spontaneity flow through her art.
The exhibitors from Iceland this year all share a similar refreshing approach because the practice of art in Iceland has not been burdened by such a long tradition as in other Nordic countries. On Iceland, modern art grew up during the 1950s and 1960s with the Fluxus movement. A variety of local art forms gathered together under the umbrella of the term ‘Fluxus’, which means flow in the sense of overflowing beyond boundaries. Fluxus was at the forefront of art and refused to be defined by any school of thought, moving on before it could be pinned down into any -ism. Just like the tectonic plates beneath Iceland’s mountain ranges, Icelandic art is continuously shifting and changing.