Going for Gold

Group exhibition

24.4.2024 — 9.6.2024

The House of Collections

As part of DesignMarch 2024 the National Gallery of Iceland will display paintings and objects made by Finnur Jónsson (1892-1993) and Jóhannes Jóhannesson (1921-98), both of whom had trained as gold-/silversmiths before embarking on their careers in art. At the same time, members of the Association of Icelandic Goldsmiths will be presenting new works, which each goldsmith relates to a work of art in the exhibition Viðnám/Resistance at the House of Collections.

Finnur Jónsson was one of Iceland’s leading artists of his time. He was the first Icelandic artist to exhibit abstract works: first with the renowned Der Sturm group in Berlin, and then in a groundbreaking exhibition in Reykjavík in 1925. In 1985 Finnur and his wife Guðný Elísdóttir presented to the National Gallery of Iceland a total of 850 works by Finnur, including many of his abstract works from the 1920s, as well as sketchbooks, drawings, an archive of correspondence and documents, photographs, and silver objects. To mark the centenary of the foundation of the Association of Icelandic Goldsmiths, the National Gallery is now exhibiting for the first time about 60 works in silver from Finnur’s donatation. For many years he was on the board of the Association, and in 1985 he was awarded honorary membership.

Jóhannes Jóhannesson had a long and successful career, primarily as an artist, but also as a goldsmith. He started his training in gold smithery at the age of 18 with Guðlaugur A. Magnússon, and remained with him for six years, 1939-45. On gaining his journeyman’s certificate in 1945, he went to the USA to study art at the Barnes Foundation, then located in Merion, Pennsylvania. The Foundation’s art education program was unconventional, permitting students to develop their art in their own way under tutors’ guidance. On his return to Iceland in 1946 he joined forces with like-minded artists, and in 1947 was among the founders of the September exhibitions, held by artists who took the view that art should create a new reality, which should be experienced on its own terms and subject to its own rules.

The exhibition will open in the House of Collections, Hverfisgata 15, on Wednesday 24 April. It is a collaborative project of the National Gallery of Iceland and the Association of Icelandic Goldsmiths.



24.4.2024 9.6.2024


Vigdís Rún Jónsdóttir

Halla Bogadóttir


Vigdís Rún Jónsdóttir


Elisa B. Guðmundsdóttir

Sigurður Gunnarsson

Conservation Manager

Steinunn Harðardóttir

Artists and goldsmiths

Anna María Sveinbjörnsdóttir

Arna Arnardóttir

Aron Ingvar Árdísarson

Ásgeir Reynisson

Birna Sigfríður Björgvinsdóttir

Dýrfinna Torfadóttir

Emilía Ósk Bjarnadóttir

Erling Jóhannesson

Finnur Jónsson

Gréta María Árnadóttir

Gréta Ósk Björnsdóttir

Guðbjörg Ingvarsdóttir

Guðrún Auður Kristinsdóttir

Gunnhildur Halla Ármannsdóttir

Hadda Rakel Marteinsdóttir

Halla Bogadóttir

Hans Kristján Einarsson

Hansína Jensdóttir

Harpa Kristjánsdóttir

Helga Ósk Einarsdóttir

Hilmar Einarsson

Jóhannes Arnljóts Ottósson

Jóhannes Jóhannesson

Lilja Unnarsdóttir

Lovísa Halldórsdóttir Olesen

Marta Staworowska - elf.ancy

Óttar Gauti Guðmundsson

Páll Sveinsson

Stefán Bogi Stefánsson

Steinunn Björnsdóttir

Unnur Eir Björnsdóttir

Þórdís Björnsdóttir Thoroddsen

In collaboration with

Treasures of Icelandic Art

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