Icelandic artists in New York Skip to content

Icelandic artists in New York

An art exhibition dedicated to Icelandic art opened on February 22 in the Trygve Lie Gallery in Manhattan, New York. The exhibition featured visual and audio art work by seven Icelandic artists.

The exhibition “The Saga Spirit Alive – 7 Icelandic Artists of Today” includes paintings, photographs, sculptures, a video installation and an audio art work, by Aron Reyr Sverrisson, Birta Gudjónsdóttir, Vala Hafstad Enard, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, Hladgerdur Iris Björnsdóttir, Oli G. Johannsson and Davíd Örn Halldórsson.

“I have five paintings in the show, done with mixed technique on wooden boards. The subject is distorted nature, my nature,” Halldórsson told

“We are very different artists, so it was surprising how well the show came together. I have an abstract style, for example, while Aron and Hladgerdur are more into realism,” Halldórsson said.

“We weren’t trying to do anything specifically Icelandic; it just came out that way. The works are about people and nature, and about the elements, like Hekla’s work about fire,” he explained.

The exhibition was opened by Hjálmar W. Hannesson, Iceland’s ambassador in New York and Iceland’s permanent representative at the UN. Two hundred guests attended the opening ceremony.

“Everything went very well. Many came to the opening and their reaction was positive. Some of the other artists have sold part of their work,” Halldórsson said.

The Trygve Lie Gallery mainly exhibits Nordic art and is located inside the Norwegian Seamen’s Church.

Every year the gallery organizes an exhibition of the works of a selection of artists from a specific Nordic country, and this year it was Iceland’s turn.

Click here to catch a glimpse of the video installation Fire, Fire Fire, Fire Fire Fire by Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir and here to watch other art work on display.

Picture 1: Laufey Vilhjálmsdottir (curator), Elfi von Kantzow Alvin (curator), Hjálmar W. Hannesson (ambassador), Hladgerdur Iris Björnsdóttir, Aron Reyr Sverrisson, Davíd Örn Halldórsson, Birta Gudjónsdóttir, Eirik Fluge (Director, Trygve Lie Gallery).

Picture 2: “Shadow,” oil on canvas, 47’ x 67’ by Hladgerdur Iris Björnsdóttir.

Picture 3: “Little Urdur,” oil on canvas, 67” x 55” by Hladgerdur Iris Björnsdóttir.

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