The Incredible Sculptures of Einar Jónsson

Einar Jónsson's "Protection:

According to the Einar Jónsson Museum, the eponymous artist was Iceland’s first sculptor.  He lives from 1874-1954. Earlier in his career he drew on Icelandic folklore as well as religious and mythological motifs for subjects. After living in Rome around the turn of the century, he “emphasized the need for artists to forge their own path and cultivate their originality and imagination instead of following in the footsteps of others…he developed a figurative language composed of interpretable symbols, personification and allegory.” “Protection” (pictured above) is one of my favorite of his works. I love walking to the (free!) sculpture garden to revisit the hauntingly realistic faces and try to understand the complex symbols in his work.

Einar Jónsson's "The Spell Broken"

You can see Einar Jónsson’s works all around the city as well as in the museum and beautiful sculpture garden right next to Hallgrímskirkja. In fact, the museum website features an excellent map for taking a walking tour of his works in City Center, which includes  “The Spell Broken” (pictured here in the snow) along the path encircling Tjörnin.  For those who like to wander, this route also happens to be a great “intro” to downtown Reykjavik. [These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000]

The Figures of Steinunn Thorarinsdottir

Sculpture by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir

 Steinunn Thorarinsdottir is a prolific Icelandic artist whose sculptures can be found all over the world. In the fall, she had a temporary exhibit at Tveir Hrafnar Listhús (Two Ravens Gallery, Reykjavik). In addition to the figures in the gallery, one was placed on the bench in the little park across the street from the main exhibit.  Sculpture by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir You can see more of  Steinunn’s figures around Reykjavik, including “Roots” on Bankastræti (pictured below), “Prospect” on Vesturgata (next to the tourist info center), one on the lawn of the Catholic Cathedral, and “Directions” in Keflavík International Airport.

Sculpture by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir

“…they visualize the alienation and the problems we face in our present age. Thus, they are human in the fullest sense of the word.” -Bera Nordal

“Steinunn uses life casts consciously in her works. She casts alternatively in cast iron, aluminium or cement as well as using clay and glass. Her casts are not made for the purpose of imitating the subject as if making a copy of the original, but rather her method to show the theatrical in art, show the playfulness as such.” -Olafur Gislason

[These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]