On the same rainy day that I visited The National Museum of Iceland I also visited some art galleries and museums where, naturally, photography was not allowed.
The first of these was The Reyjkavik Art Musuem, which is actually a network of art museums housed in three buildings across the city. (I only visited two, Hafnarhus, on Tryggvagata and the Asmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum, which will feature in a later post). It’s the largest building in the network, built in the 1930s and houses the permanent exhibitions of Erro, apparently “one of Europe’s most notable pop artists”. The other exhibitions turned out to be all about contemporary art, which anyone who’s been here a while will realise is not always my thing.
There was an exhibition called “The Power of Passage”, exploring “the forces of transition” which I can’t say I was terribly keen on; it was all about artists covering canvasses in different types of oil and pigments and then leaving them to see how they developed.
There was also Erro’s Graphic Art from 1949-2009, which the artist had donated to the museum over the years. This was a little more to my taste, and slightly on the political side, but I certainly wouldn’t visit another of his exhibitions.
I also visited the Reykjavik Museum of Photography which I discovered was on the 6th floor of the city library building, and had free admission, one of the few museums it has to be said in Reykjavik which doesn’t have an admission charge. It basically takes up the floor with exhibitions and when I visited it was to see an exhibition called Mats 1956-1978 which focused on the early career of photographer Mats Wibe Lunde. Unless you’re from Iceland I suspect you’ll never have heard of him, but he is known in Iceland for his aerial photography of farms and communities around Iceland.
The photographs were great and I’d certainly like to see more of them. They reflect Iceland’s development – one picture of the Hallsgrimskirkja being constructed stood out in particular – though the exhibition did only take about ten minutes to walk around.
I also popped in to the ASI Art Gallery, which was a litle cold and quite small, just a few photographs on the ground and top floor. I was in and out pretty quickly!
Reyjkavik certainly has some interesting art galleries, and is keen on preserving its culture, though not all the places were quite to my tastes, but if you do like modern art this is certainly the city for indulging your interests.