Selected text-based works from the collection of Pétur Arason and Ragna Róbertsdóttir

15.9.2016 — 14.5.2017

National Gallery of Iceland
Picture of The National Gallery of Iceland at Fríkirkjuvegur where bands of text by Lawrence Weiner have been placed on the building.
National Gallery of Iceland

15.9.2016 14.5.2017


Birta Guðjónsdóttir


Birgir Andrésson, Robert Barry, Joseph Beuys, Thomas A. Clark, Hanne Darboven, Tacita Dean, Steingrímur Eyfjörð, Robert Filliou, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hreinn Friðfinnsson, Hamish Fulton, Douglas Gordon, Franz Graf, Kristján Guðmundsson, Sigurður Guðmundsson, Jón Laxdal Halldórsson, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Joseph Kosuth, Mark Lombardi, Richard Long, Max Neuhaus, Yoko Ono, Roman Opalka, Richard Prince, Karin Sander, Ben Vautier, Ryszard Wasco, Lawrence Weiner, Bjarni H. Þórarinsson.

The exhibition T E X T shows a selection of text-based art works by fifty Icelandic and international visual artists. The works all belong to the private art collection of Reykjavík and Berlin based collectors Pétur Arason and Ragna Róbertsdóttir, whose collection of contemporary art has reached over 1.000 works since the early 1960s until today.

On display here are works by many of the most important contemporary artists, most of which are friends and colleagues of Pétur and Ragna. Many of these connections have become ground for further encounters of Icelandic artists with their international colleagues and have played a major role in the dynamic art scene of Iceland.

Businessman Pétur Arason and artist Ragna Róbertsdóttir operated the exhibition space Second Floor, together with artist Ingólfur Arnarsson, at their home at Laugavegur 37 in 1992–1997. There they invited many important international contemporary artists to show their art and then acquired many of their works. These acquisitions created the basis for their art collection.

Arason and Róbertsdóttir continued to collect contemporary art and in 2003 they opened SAFN: Contemporary Art Collection on three floors in the same building, which they operated in collaboration with the City of Reykjavík. SAFN was open to the public until 2008. There the couple presented a large part of their collection, as well as around fifty temporary exhibitions of Icelandic and international artists.

In 2014 they opened two exhibition spaces titled SAFN; at Bergstaðastræti 52 in Reykjavík and Lewetzowstrasse 16 in Berlin, offering their guests in both locations to experience selected works from their collection.

Picture of Valtýr Pétursson in his studio

24.9.2016 — 26.3.2017

Treasures of Icelandic Art

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