Portrait of a Woman
Jóhannes Jóhannesson 1921-1998
Jóhannes Jóhannesson graduated as a goldsmith from the Reykjavík Technical School in 1945, then pursued art studies at the Barnes Foundation in the USA 1945–46. During World War II, Icelanders were unable to go to Europe for art studies, and the USA was the only option at that time. Jóhannes was among the artists who wanted to hold a group exhibition in order to gain recognition for Icelandic contemporary art, and in 1947 the Septem group held its first show. The first of four such shows, it marks the advent of the Icelandic avant-garde. In 1949 Jóhannes went to Italy to study, and later that year he spent time in Paris, along with several other Icelandic artists. By that time Paris was the global hotspot of the geometric abstract, and the Icelandic artists took this new trend back to Iceland with them. Jóhannes’ works did not strongly reflect geometric influence until the early 1950s.