Nervescape VII

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter

26.5.2017 — 22.10.2017

National Gallery of Iceland
Installation in the National Gallery of Iceland that shows colourful rows of hair of varied lengths. The installation is by Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter.
National Gallery of Iceland

26.5.2017 22.10.2017


Birta Guðjónsdóttir


Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter, Birta Guðjónsdóttir og Alanna Heiss


Birta Guðjónsdóttir

Producer of Projects by Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter

Lilja Hrönn Baldursdóttir

Studio Manager of Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter

Ragnheiður Káradóttir


Baldur Geir Bragason, Geirfinnur Jónsson, Hrafnhildur Guðmundsdóttir og Þröstur Valgarðsson

In collaboration with

Logo Wow air

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (b. 1969), also known as Shoplifter, is an Icelandic artist based in New York. For the past 15 years Arnardóttir has explored extensively the use and symbolic nature of hair and its visual and artistic potential. Her art addresses the history of our obsession with hair and how it is an ongoing manifestation of creativity in contemporary culture, tackling notions that border on obsession or fetish. Arnardóttir´s body of work largely consists of sculptures, site-specific installations and wall murals, that take on themes of vanity, self-image, fashion, beauty and popular myth. Her work is anchored in her fascination with pop culture and mass production as well as folk art, naivism and handcraft, which continue to strongly influence her creative process. 

Humor plays a large yet subtle role in Arnardóttir's work, it manifests itself in her use of vast amounts of multi colored synthetic clown-like hair extensions she twists and braids in her exploration of the beautiful versus the grotesque and the conflict between mass production and preciousness. Arnardóttir has worked with artists from all over the world, including Icelandic musician Björk for whom she created the "hair helmet" featured on the 2004 album Medúlla . In 2008, Arnardóttir collaborated with artist collective a.v.a.f  on an installation displayed at the MoMA in New York. Her most recent works include a large installation series called Nervescape. Nervescape IV , commissioned for the Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art – Momentum 8, in Moss, Norway in 2015, Nervescape V , at The Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia in 2016, and Nervescape VI,  at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, US in 2017.

Photo: Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir - Shoplifter, Nervescape VII, 2017, The National Gallery of Iceland.

Treasures of Icelandic Art

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