Nína Magnúsdóttir: Lines of Flight | Hársbreidd

November 26, 2022 – January 29, 2023

Skaftfell Gallery, Austurvegur 42, Seyðisfjörður

Opening: November 26, 2022, 16:00 – 18:00

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 17:00 – 22:00, closed on Mondays

More than 20 new works by Seyðisfjörður-based artist Nína Magnúsdóttir will be presented in an exhibition entitled Lines of Flight, on view in the Skaftfell Gallery from November 27, 2022 to January 29, 2023. 

The new works were made in the aftermath of the devastating landslides of December 2020, that led to the temporary evacuation of the town. Unable to return to their home and studio for several months, the artist and her family stayed in the Roth family’s pier house located at the threshold of the fjord. This period of displacement was a time of reckoning and of seeking stability at an uncertain time.

In a departure from her past work in painting and other media, Nína’s new works incorporate hair as material, an element that evolved intuitively in thinking about hair as something of her body and also separate from it. Like other organic fibers, such as wool or silk, hair has an inherent structure specific to the individual source. In composing the canvases, tendrils of hair took on the character of line drawings. Some of the works show the three-dimensional “lines” of hair against a stark, white surface, while others use color in all-over abstract compositions that play with the tensions between positive and negative space.

The process of making the works involved an interplay between the patterns formed by the sinuous strands and the artist’s subtle manipulations of them: a meeting of chance and will on the canvas surface. Nína has noted: “It is not about applying a concept and forcing the hair under my direction; it is more about making some kind of order out of chaos and exploring a new kind of form.”

Throughout history, hair has held cultural and symbolic significance in literature, mythology, folklore, visual art, and popular culture. female beauty and power. In the Western tradition, hair has connotations of female beauty, sensuality, and power. It is personal and intimate, but also public and political.

About the artist 
Nína Magnúsdóttir was born in Reykjavík. She has an undergraduate degree in visual art from Listaháskoli Íslands and a postgraduate degree in visual art from Goldsmiths College, London. Her work has been exhibited in Iceland and throughout Europe, including the collective installation project Sirkus, shown at the 2008 Frieze Art Fair in London. In addition to her artistic practice Nína has curated numerous exhibitions, notably the Icelandic Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, in 2015, with The Mosque, by the Swiss artist Christoph Büchel. From 2006-09, Nina served as the executive director of Nýlistasafn (The Living Art Museum), in Reykjavík. She was a co-founder of the artist-run gallery Kling og Bang from 2003-09, and the director of its offshoot, Klink and Bank from 2004-05. She has been a program director of the LungA School, and presently serves on the board of Skaftfell, in Seyðisfjörður.  

The exhibition is funded by Múlaþing, Sóknaráætlun Austurlands, and Stjórnarráð Íslands.