A Successful Show at the Venice Biennale:
Steingrímur Eyfjörđ's Venice Exhibition Returns Home
Steingrímur Eyfjörð represented Iceland at the 52nd Biennale di Venezia last summer with a large and varied exhibition that touched on elves, migratory birds and cultural memory in a sweeping installation of scupture, drawings, photographs, video and text. For the first time, the Icelandic show was mounted outside the central exhibition at the Giardini, in the venerable old Palazzo Bianchi Michiel on the Canale Grande. Nonetheless, some 30 000 visitors came, and Steingrímur attracted from visiting professionals and the international art press. The Observer's Laura Cummings easily caught on to the tounge-in-cheek character of some of the art and called Steingrímur "a real humourist" and the show "a ludicrous odyssey in images and words that sends up the customs of the country". Kunstzeitung described the exhibition as surprisingly extensive and precise, and Kunstforum praised the multiple narratives of the show as transcending all facile attempts at analysis and interpretation.
The exhibition has now been transported back to Iceland and installed at the Reykajvík Art Museum, which also purchased the central work in the show. Steingrímur himself has another busy year ahead of him. He is now represented by the Max Protetch Gallery in New York, where he will open his first exhibition in May.
LIST Icelandic Art News. Page last updated 15 January 2008. Texts and images copyright © 2008 by the authors. For inquiries and contact information see about us.