Ásmundur Ásmundsson, born in 1971, made his presence felt on the Reykjavík art scene as soon as he had completed his studies at the Reykjavík College of Arts and Crafts, before he went to New York to complete his studies at the School of Visual Arts. He now shares his time between Iceland and Berlin.
Ásmundur’s work is deliberately brash and has often, especially in his early exhibitions, seemed calculated to shock complacent art lovers. In various installations he has pressed the boundaries of good taste with shoddy materials, product-branded objects and mixed cement standing in for male ejaculate. Many may find his art overly confrontational, but upon closer examination there is a consistent aesthetic at work; what’s more, his art carries an insistent critical message.
These installations, however chaotic, are always offered in a celebratory mood and their elements stand without adornment or explanation for the viewer to accept or reject. The objects may seem almost insultingly insignificant in themselves—and certainly not attractive—but such objects have a subtle poetics, and Ásmundur is very much attuned to them. But Ásmundur is also a determined prankster and he will always seek to turn any facile definition on its head—even when it comes to his own work.
More of Ásmundur Ásmundsson’s work can be seen on his website: www.this.is/ausgot/
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