Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir´ s work reminds the viewer that the eye sees because it is an eye and its function as an organ is to see, but that the technique of seeing is wholly created by the viewer. Being in the world with our bodies is the horizon of our perceptual experience – it is this logic of the senses that Ingunn’s work engages, allowing a playful way to practice seeing the way in which we construct our reality.

Ingunn works mainly in painting and installation. Using different materials arranged in unsuspecting ways that challenge the viewer’s aesthetic and visual perception of an exhibition space, she merges the preconceived information received by the eye with a conceptualism that speaks to the physicality of the body. The body of the viewer takes part in an abstract narrative created by a variety of surfaces and angles that involve all of the senses. The painted surfaces in her oeuvre play many roles – at times they are a partition wall or cat-walk and at other times a sign, stage, or screen. The work’s perceptual impact on the viewer comes not from the realm of medium, type, or dimension, but from concepts that apply to the world and speak of the metaphorical relationship between the artwork’s vanishing point and the senses.

Interactivity and sometimes direct participation have become a more prominent factor in her recent work. For Ingunn, the perception of the senses is part of this participation, which she has no direct control over, creating an open narrative of the work itself in which the final outcome is unknown. In her exhibition from 2017, As the Play Unfolds, the boundaries are established yet remain open to change through the presence of the viewer who incites different variables to shift in the responsive environment of the exhibition. Through subtle cues, the artist makes connections between these open systems of engagement with video games and the hyper-textual nature of global screen culture itself.

There is a temporal sensation connected to the past and future in her work, as though the history of painting were greeting the future of painting and in this meeting becoming reassembled through the viewer’s senses. Ingunn’s work poses the question What is the time of painting? In her embrace of both Modernism and Minimalism in a parallel alternative timeline that is completely of the now. The presence of nowness is created out of the ability of her work to play with the viewer, recreating itself as it is presented to the viewer through interactivity and spatial integration.

In the same vein of many forbearers of Modernism, the frame is an important aspect regarding her work. In changing the traditional role of the frame an unbounded relationship between the artwork and the life around it is encouraged. Ingunn’s work extends the field of painting into an open narrative system in which the work is animated by the viewer and the space. All is alive and teeming with infinite surfaces and possibilities of connection through color and form revealing a sensory experience not as preformed content, but as material to be conceptualized.

Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir  (b. 1976) lives and works in Iceland. Ingunn graduated with an MA degree in Fine Art from Iceland Academy of the Arts in Fine Art in 2017 and a BA degree in Fine Art from the same institution in 2007. She also received a BA degree in Art History from the University of Aarhus, Denmark in 2002.

Ingunn’s work has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums in Iceland, including the National Gallery, Reykjavík Art Museum and Hafnarborg. Ingunn has exhibited internationally among others at the Prague Biennale 5, Check Republic; Cluj Museum, Rumenia and Kunstverein Springhornhof, Germany. Works in public collections include the National Gallery of Iceland. Parallel to her solo practice, Ingunn is active in the artist due Hugsteypan with Þórdís Jóhannesdóttir.

Erin Honeycutt