Björg Þorsteinsdóttir 1940-2019
The content of Björg Þorsteinsdóttir’s art is diverse; she kept to the traditional media of oils and watercolour, as well as printmaking. She sought inspiration in current affairs, social issues, science and technology, as well as weather and light, both indoors and out. In her Hnútur/Knot the subject is ambiguous: floating threads in an endless blue space. The threads comprise the contrasting colours of red and green – which helps the eye discern the form, but does not resolve the puzzle. Björg studied at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, and at the renowned graphic studio Atelier 17, also in Paris. She was a prolific printmaker, while at the same time painting large and small works, which she invariably exhibited alongside her prints. Björg took a keen interest in the role of visual art in society; she taught, and was active in various artists’ organisations, such as the Icelandic Printmakers’ Association, FÍM (Society of Icelandic Artists) and the Nordic Art Centre NKC in Finland; she was on the board of the Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum, and served for a time as director of the Ásgrímur Jónsson Museum (1980–84). Her highly original art reflects a period of rapid change and technological advance, in which she may be said to have had her finger on the pulse.