Marc Straus | Kristjan Gudmundsson
Exhibition on view through May 3, 2015
April 24, 2015
Recipient of Carnegie Art Award - Kristjan Gudmundsson on view at Marc Straus Gallery
299 Grand Street. New York. NY. 10002
Kristjan Gudmundsson, in his first New York City exhibition presents “screen” paintings, a series begun in 2008 and for which he was the recipient of the coveted Carnegie Art Prize. In these elegant yet unassuming works, Gudmundsson uses perforated metal sound absorbing screens remade with black or white canvas paintings inserted behind. The round and precise symmetrical pattern of the screen holes and the black or white color behind quickly bring to mind both early op art and later Lichtenstein’s use of Ben Day dots.
Gudmundsson calls these Black and White Paintings. As with almost all of his work in a long distinguished career he appropriates found objects often used for a completely unrelated function. Here these screens had functioned as sound barriers. In other work on view he uses large paper rolls used for newsprint or Olympic objects used in competition such as a javelin.
These objects also can be read as part of the lineage of Pop Art such as Koons’ two basketballs floating in a fish tank. But Gudmundsson has allowed more intervention. The insulation is stripped away and the canvases behind are painted. These reconfigured austere and elegant compositions have a hint of wry humor. “For him, ideas and their physical manifestations are united through art…The poetic works of Gudmundsson are timely to the extent they exist very much within the present tense.” (Robert C. Morgan March 2015)
Gudmundsson (b. 1941) is widely viewed as the artist “elder statesman” in Iceland and his work has been included in numerous museum shows worldwide.
Left: Black and White Painting in Grey and White Frame, 2008, Acrylic on canvas, enameled steel, insulating material, 70 3/4 x 7 3/4 in, 180 x 20 cm Right: White and Black Painting in Grey Frames, 2009, Acrylic on canvas, enameled steel, insulating material, 47 1/4 x 15 3/4 x 1 1/2 in, 120 x 40 x 4 cm
ALSO ON VIEW: Sam Jinks' First Solo Exhibition in North America