Some New Works

2.7.2022 — 2.10.2022

National Gallery of Iceland

One of the roles of the National Gallery of Iceland is to collect art, with the objective of reflecting as well as possible trends and movements in Icelandic and international art at any time, as stated in the National Gallery of Iceland Act. The museum’s collections are extensive and diverse. The oldest works in the collection date from the 16th century, while the most recent are less than one year old; the nucleus of the collection consists of Icelandic art from around 1900 to the present day.



2.7.2022 2.10.2022


Vigdís Rún Jónsdóttir

Project Manager of Exhibitions

Vigdís Rún Jónsdóttir

Project Manager of Education and Events

Ragnheiður Vignisdóttir

Marketing and Promotion

Guðrún Jóna Halldórsdóttir


Sigurður Gunnarsson


Ólafur Ingi Jónsson

artwork by Hildur Bjarnadóttir, textile in red and brown color

Hildur Bjarnadóttir 1969-

mjög snemma sumars, 2021


Today the collection numbers over 15,000 works, and more are added each year; the museum is allocated funding of nearly ISK 30 million annually for acquisitions of art. The selection of acquisitions – whether purchases or works donated to the museum – is handled by a three- person Acquisitions Board which is appointed by the Minister of Education and Culture for a three-year term. The board is made up of the director of the gallery, one representative nominated by SÍM (the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists), and a third appointed without prior nomination.

Artwork by Örn Alexander Ásmundsson

Örn Alexander Ámundason 1984-

Info, 2016


This is a welcome opportunity to provide insight into this major and important aspect of the gallery’s work by displaying recent additions to the collection, and to elucidate the priorities that guide acquisitions at any time. The exhibition reflects the diversity of outstanding Icelandic contemporary art.

The exhibition Some New Works displays a selection of works which have been purchased by the gallery’s Acquisitions Board or presented to the gallery in recent years

Artwork by Gunnhildur Haukdsdóttir.

Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir 1972-

Rottukórinn, 2020


Creating systems for different kinds of phenomena may be said to be a human endeavour to simplify an incomprehensible and complex world. Systems theory is grounded in an interdisciplinary scrutiny of the organisation of phenomena, internal systemic relations, and how different systems work together. Systems can be tangible, biological or social; they can be manmade, natural or a combination of both. Systems entail a certain repetition and pattern, while in repetition the source of something new is always to be found, as maintained by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in his book Gjentagelsen (Repetition, 1843). Many artists have found inspiration in Kierkegaard’s work: as the same routine or motif is repeated over and over again, or subjects from the past are remade, it may be said that no creative art is possible without precedents and models.

The works displayed in Some New Works have been curated to highlight systems and repetitions in the work of eleven artists, which have been made in a range of different media.

Sigurður Atli Sigurðsson 1988-

Sætaskipan, 2020


In a broad sense one may take the view that all art entails systems and repetitions of some kind, and this is a useful tool in examination of contemporary art. The subjects of the artists in Some New Works lie in a study of children’s sleep patterns, stereotypes, magnification of carbon particles, the reshaping of nature using Morse code, seating arrangements in different public spaces, the aural world and social interaction of rats, the art and systems of chess, boxes as a recurrent theme in art history, the creation and the deconstruction of its meaning, processes that lie behind holding an exhibition, and not least in research into aesthetics in the repetition of forms or units of pattern which establish a certain calm among the chaos, and security for the observer.


Anna Júlía Friðbjörnsdóttir

Bjarni H. Þórarinsson

Fritz Hendrik Berndsen

Guðjón Ketilsson

Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir

Hildur Bjarnadóttir

Sigurður Guðjónsson

Sigurður Atli Sigurðsson

Sölvi Sólon Íslandus Helgason

Valgerður Guðlaugsdóttir

Örn Alexander Ámundason

Treasures of Icelandic Art

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