Lava at Thingvellir
Finnur Jónsson 1892-1993
Finnur Jónsson was born in Djúpivogur in the east, and as a boy he worked with his father as a fisherman. In 1919 he qualified as a goldsmith in Reykjavík, and that same year he went to Copenhagen and started art training in the private school of Olof Rude. He then went to Germany: first to Berlin where he studied at the private school of Carl Hofer, and then at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, where he drew under the tutelage of Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980), and also studied at Der Weg, Schule für Neue Kunst (The Direction: School of New Art) 1922–1925. During his time in Germany Finnur was deeply influenced by German Expressionism, Cubism and Constructivism, and he did experiments along those lines. Finnur’s black-and-white tusch works are in keeping with what was happening in Germany at the time. But his avant-garde art works were met with a stony reception back home in Iceland when he showed them at Café Rosenberg, along with other colourful figurative paintings. Finnur remained faithful to his expressionistic imagery and conventional subjects after he returned to Iceland, where his predominant theme was the relationship between Icelandic farmers and fishermen and Icelandic nature.