Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir & Eygló Harðardóttir

October 31, 2015 – February 13, 2016

Two person show featuring Eyborg Gudmundsdottir and Eyglo Hardardottir.
Curated by Gavin Morrison.

Eyborg Gudmundsdottir (1924-1977) and Eyglo Hardardottir (born 1964) are artists from two different generations. The work of both is abstract, Eyborg predominately made paintings, while Eyglo’s work is most often sculptural.

Untitled, 1975. Eyborg Guðmundsdóttir, courtesy of the Reykjavík Art Museum

Eyborg Gudmundsdottir’s work uses distinctive geometric forms and vibrant colours to suggest confounding spatial paradoxes. Although she had regular studio visits with Dieter Roth, and when she went to Paris studied with the op-artist Victor Vasarely, her paintings transcend specific influences. They display a continuity with the op-art movement yet also incorporate elements of pop art, in their suggestion of the structures of the modern and physical world. The paintings can appear deceptively simple, yet they often employ ingenious compositional strategies, to create the illusion of three-dimensional space. In relation to this aspect the constructions of Eyglo Hardardottir could be thought of as models of the suggested spaces of such abstract paintings. While Eyborg’s paintings appear as objective and hard edged, the sculptures of Eyglo are more speculative and tactile in nature.

Photo: Eygló Harðardóttir

For Eyglo Hardardottir there is an attention to the ways in which colour functions and affects the perception of an object. Her choices of material and construction approaches give the objects a particular immediacy. In a sense the work displays something of the notion of bricolgae, that is using materials that are to hand for efficiency of articulation. As such the work can be seen as propositional, as a possible state of existence, rather than an ideal one. In respect to Eyborg’s paintings, these rough forms appear to question the possibility of the former’s objectivism. They seem to suggest that the real world can’t adhere to the idealism of the abstract pictorial plane.

This exhibition presents two bodies of work which engage with the nature of abstract composition and the ways in which its forms accrue meaning and significance. The work of Eyborg seen in relation to Eyglo’s gives a comprehension of the ways in which her concerns are still pertinent to artists working today.


Eyborg Gudmundsdottir was born in Isafjord in 1924, she studied art in Paris 1959-1963, she had a short tenure with the academy but did not like it and studied independently thereafter, most notably with op artist Victor Vasarely. Her work was exhibited widely in Europe with a group of influential artists of the time; Group Mesure. Eyborg was an abstract geometric painter. Her first solo show was held in the Bogasalur of the National Gallery of Iceland in 1965, she exhibited her work in Mokka Cafe in 1966 and one of the works showed there is still on display. Eyborg held her last exhibition in the Nordic House in Reykjavik in 1975. She passed away two years later, in 1977, fifty-two years of age.

Eyglo Hardardottir was born in Reykjavik in 1964. She studied at Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst en Industrie, Enschede, The Netherlands and also obtained an M.A. in Arts Education, Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavik. Her solo exhibitions include: Harbinger in 2015, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik (1994, 1998 and 2002); Reykjavik Art Museum, Asmundarsafn, (2003); and ASI Art Museum, Reykjavik (2007 and 2013). Her work is held in the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik; Reykjavik Municipal Art Museum; The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik; RUV, The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, Reykjavik; and Kultuurikauppila, Ii, Finland.


The National Gallery of Iceland, The Reykjavik Art Museum, Safn and Arion bank


The exhibition is supported by the East Iceland Regional Development program and the Icelandic Visual Art Fund.