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Jón Proppé
‘Krútt’ and Its Discontents
Krútt is one of those words that defies translation but has nonetheless been used in Iceland to characterize a whole generation of creative young Icelanders.

Christian Schoen
Berlin: Icelandic Invasion
With so many Icelanders showing up, one can be sure that there will be a party with cult status

Christian Schoen
“Being an Icelander…an incurable disease”
Interview with Steina Vasulka Part I.

Jón Proppé
Art and Urban Planning
As in any city, public art in Reykjavík is a hodgepodge of styles with sculptures and ornaments in often surprising locations.

Christian Schoen
Ásmundur Ásmundsson
Ásmundur’s work is deliberately brash and has often, especially in his early exhibitions, seemed calculated to shock complacent art lovers.

Jón Proppé
Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir
Her most recent exhibition is an installation made of carpenter’s foam, store-bought baby bottles and electrical wiring.

Christian Schoen
Steina Vasulka
Steina is a key artist in the development of video art.




Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir: ‘The Adorer and the Adored’, 2002.



Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir

Jón Proppé

Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir is one of the young artists who in 1999 ‘took over’ a small derelict house in the center of Reykjavík, in Skuggahverfið (the District of Shadows) just off the city’s busiest shopping streets. The house, old and scheduled to make way for a new development of high-rise apartment houses, had in recent years been home to Samtökin 78, the Icelandic Association of Lesbians and Gay Men. The young artists, most of them still studying at the Icelandic Academy of Art and Crafts, saw an opportunity—and they seized it. They painted the house yellow and called it, simply, the Yellow House. For about a year it was the focus of a loosely-knit group of creative young people pursuing their art, music and social life with a vitality that contrasted sharply with the derelict surroundings. The house is now gone, the high-rises have been built and the artists have gone on to pursue their careers in the wider world.

Gunnhildur’s activities since then reflect the strong connections made by Icelandic artists in the 1970s with Fluxus and the European avant-garde. A member of the nebulous but well-connected Dieter Roth Academy since 2000 and ‘under the guidance of Björn Roth’, she moved on from the Art Academy in Reykjavík to pursue further studies at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

Gunnhildur’s work retains a lot of the characteristics associated with the Yellow House group, most obviously perhaps the use of cheap materials and rough execution. They have an air of impermanence—a ‘temporary’ air reflecting the urgency associated with an art space that was always operating just days ahead of the wrecking crew. Her most recent exhibition, in Kling & Bang Gallery, is a good example—an installation made of carpenter’s foam, store-bought baby bottles and electrical wiring. The result, however, is a thoughtful meditation on dependency and the rampant consumerism that reduces us all to the developmental stage of infants, being fed our culture and identity through an increasingly automated delivery system promising instant gratification at the risk of our losing all initiative and creative engagement. Her 2002 installation The Adorer and the Adored is a similarly executed examination of the symbiotic relationship between viewer and performer, artist and public.

List: Icelandic Art News is published by the Center for Icelandic Art, a cooperative project of Iceland's museums and artists' organisations. List is edited by Christian Schoen and Jón Proppé. If you wish not to receive announcements of our new issues - or you want to contact us for any other reason - please send a mail to list@cia.is.

Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir: ‘The Adorer and the Adored’, 2002, examines the symbiotic relationship between viewer and performer, artist and public.
From Gunnhildur's latest exhbition in Kling & Bang Gallery, Pelabörn (Bottle Babies).

More of Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir’s work can be seen on her website: www.this.is/gunnhildur/