Staged Moments

Collective Exhibition

22.1.2022 — 8.5.2022

National Gallery of Iceland

Staged Moments throws light on one of the most diverse divisions of the National Gallery of Iceland collection – the photograph.

The works span the period from the 1970s to the present day. Photography's status as an art form has risen greatly in recent decades; in the past the photograph was not recognised as a legitimate work of art, due to its quality of reproducibility, which was seen as inconsistent with the principle of the unique and sublime in the arts.





22.1.2022 8.5.2022


Vigdís Rún Jónsdóttir

Umsjón með fræðslu og viðburðardagskrá

Ragnheiður Vignisdóttir

Markaðs- og kynningarmál

Guðrún Jóna Halldórsdóttir


Ólafur Ingi Jónsson

Nathalie Jaqueminet

Staged Moments

In Iceland, the use of photography by conceptual artists in the 1960s and 70s may be said to have led to its first being appreciated as an art form. Initially the photographic medium was used as a means of documentation of performance art, the photograph being the only evidence that the piece had been performed – but the photograph was also specifically presented as a work of art in its own right, as in the case of Sigurður Guðmundsson’s photo series Situations, made 1971—1982. In these works the photographic work is designated as the work of art itself, yet at the same time the artist sees his works as situations, poetry or sculpture rather than photographs.

Today photography is respected as a multifarious medium in a state of constant evolution, that has considerably expanded the bounds of contemporary art. 

Sigurður Guðmundsson 1942-

Encore, 1991


The 1980s and 90s saw a boom in photography, due to the emergence of a new generation who studied at art academies abroad. The aesthetics of the everyday became a widespread theme in the latter years of the 20th century, together with a new vision of nature and environment. In step with advances in digital technology over the past twenty years, photography has undergone radical change and gained recognition as an art form within contemporary art.  As a result photographic works have come to feature regularly among the acquisitions of art museums; the National Gallery of Iceland has, for instance, purchased works by many contemporary photographers, and by artists who use the documentary potential of photography technology in staging their ideas and capturing the perfect moment.

Pétur Thomsen 1973-

AL3_9a. Úr myndaröðinni Aðflutt landslag, 2003


The exhibition, displayed in two galleries, is guided by a number of concepts that may be said to be dominant internationally in the photographic works of contemporary artists and photographers.


Anna Hallin, Olga Bergmann, Árni Ingólfsson, Bára Kristín Kristinsdóttir, Bjargey Ólafsdóttir, Bjarki Bragason, Bjarni H. Þórarinsson, Daníel Magnússon, Erling Klingenberg, Gjörningaklúbburinn, Halldór Ásgeirsson, Hallgerður Hallgrímsdóttir, Hildur Hákonardóttir, Hlynur Hallsson, Hrafnkell Sigurðsson, Hreinn Friðfinnsson, Inga Svala Þórsdóttir, Wu Shanzhuan, Ívar Brynjólfsson, Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir, Katrín Bára Elvarsdóttir, Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Magnús Sigurðarson, Ólafur Elíasson, Ólafur Lárusson, Ólöf Nordal, Pétur Thomsen, Roni Horn, Sara Björnsdóttir, Sigurður Guðmundsson, Sigurjón Jóhannsson, Sólveig Aðalsteinsdóttir, Spessi, Stefán Jónsson, Steingrímur Eyfjörð, Svala Sigurleifsdóttir, Tumi Magnússon, Valgerður Guðlaugsdóttir, Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson

26.2.2022 — 19.6.2022

Treasures of Icelandic Art

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