(Un)steady Objects

Týsgallerí 10.07.-03.08. 2014

“The main thing wrong with painting is that it is a rectangular plane placed flat against the wall.” – Donald Judd, “Specific Objects”, 1965.

In recent years, Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir (1976) has gained critical attention for her spatial installations, central to which is the interaction between the work and the space surrounding it, and the viewer’s perception of this space. The artist’s experiments with form, color and line play a key role, enticing the viewer to move around and experience the work from different angles. The works on display in the exhibition (Un)steady Objects are paintings on a smaller scale than Ingunn Fjóla has shown previously. While each work stands on its own, they also work together as an installation, a system of works activating the gallery space in different ways and creating tension between them.

Ingunn Fjóla employs acrylic paint, woolen yarn, nylon threads and wood as material in order to break up the flat, two-dimensional surface of painting. As in her previous works, the line also plays a substantial role here. In some of the works threads are used as a base for painting instead of the traditional canvas. Threads therefore play a dual role; simultaneously serving as a tableau and as a sculptural element within the composition. Painted surfaces on the gallery walls serve as backgrounds, thus stretching the artworks into the gallery space.

The artist’s visual language is both multifaceted and vibrant. At first glance, her works appear to be purely formal investigations: hard-edged geometric structures are prominent, bounded shapes and patterns construct each picture plane. But upon closer inspection; something more complex is afoot. As in previous works, each piece seems to provoke the viewer to move around within the space and view the work from different angles – compositions of color, form and line change and appear in a different configuration depending on the viewer’s position. The boundaries between background and foreground become unclear and the viewer’s visual perception is challenged. With each viewpoint comes a new perception, a new picture. The works themselves seem to flicker between states and therefore no longer appear as fixed objects on the wall. What seems grounded in the formal gives way to the phenomenological – steadiness yields unsteadiness.

Aldís Arnardóttir

Translated by Dan Meththananda