Anna Rún Tryggvadóttir

13.4.2024 — 15.9.2024

National Gallery of Iceland

In this exhibition, Anna Rún Tryggvadóttir considers the powerful yet invisible force of geomagnetism and the phenomenon of the wandering magnetic north. The works in the installation are part of a larger and ongoing inquiry into geology and the effects of physical laws in the environment. The artistʼs lyrical investigations manifested in drawing and sculpture lead to a deeper understanding of our anthropocentric perspective on the world we dwell in.


At the center of the exhibition, the viewer encounters the sculpture Derailing, an upright needle that is in a perpetual state of raveling. It takes its color from the universal red of the north-pointing compass needle. Derailing relates to a series of points and numbers that are situated on the walls of the gallery. These points indicate past positions of magnetic north as determined through geological research into Icelandic minerals found in strata since the time when the land rose up from the ocean 16 million years ago.  


The installation includes a series of watercolors based on speculation about of the various locations of Earthʼs magnetic poles, past and future – a stunning revelation about the shifts in geomagnetism over time. In some of these works, Anna Rún rotates maps to upend the placement of north. Maps are perforce subjective, organized according to the perspective the cartographer wants to emphasize. We are accustomed to a traditionally Western orientation where the north is shown at the top. This may be because early human navigation was by celestial coordinates, the North Star in particular, and involved looking up at the night sky. But the position of north is a construct: Earth’s location within the cosmos exists in a space-time continuum. In fact, there are no cardinal directions in space. 




13.4.2024 15.9.2024


Anna Rún Tryggvadóttir


Pari Stave

Project Management of Exhibition

Vigdís Rún Jónsdóttir

Technical Supervision

Sigurður Gunnarsson


Magnús Helgason

Gylfi Sigurðsson

Indriði Ingólfsson

Andri Björgvinsson

Ísleifur Kristinsson

13.4.2024 — 15.9.2024

Treasures of Icelandic Art

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