Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir

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2017 – SuperBlack, Nordatlantens Brygge, Copenhagen

The color superblack absorbs 99.5% of all light, and the human eye thus perceives it as completely empty. The deep and engulfing color is also what visually connects the works of the two Icelandic artists joined in the exhibition; Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir’s paintings and Margrét Jónsdóttir’s ceramics. For the two artists, however, the color is also a manifestation of a state of mind – both on a personal and societal level, characterized by inflated social expectations and illusions, as well as disrespectful and destructive behavior towards nature and body.

Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir (b. 1963)
The tone is raw and bleak in Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir’s works. Their superblack universe conveys decadence and decay, a mood enhanced by the unmasked portraits and exposed bodies which appear on the black canvas wearing i.e. giant wigs, as if in a baroque scene. The expression is powerful and entrancing, questioning, by means of the exposed and unsightly frankness, our sense of normalcy, beauty and identity.

Margrét Jónsdóttir (b. 1961)
Bodies and decay are also present in Margrét Jónsdóttir’s ceramic works. Despite the fact that ceramics are inextricably linked to burning heat, it is nevertheless surprising to experience her blackcolored stoneware, reminiscent of processed liquid lava. Margrét Jónsdóttir has created magmablack pieces; compositions of human forms and everyday objects that join to form powerful visual and reflexive contrasts. What are human beings doing to themselves and their nature? In a larger, more holistic perspective, Margrét Jónsdóttir is asking whether we would treat our bodies with the same disrespect we treat nature?

Both Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir and Margrét Jónsdóttir live and work in Iceland and have previously exhibited their works together. The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Icelandic Embassy in Copenhagen.