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abstrACT colOR disBElieve

September 29 - October 18, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 2, 2008


 For the Tenri show Bjarnason incorporates his interest in space, light, and line that work in tandem to produce sensitive assays into dimensionality. His works on canvas or on paper synthesize drawing, printing and painting into the same work. For the Tenri installation Bjarnason experiments with his means; drawing, painting, erasing, re-drawing, folding, multiplying, reducing, shredding, and gluing his materials to produce works that in their monumentality meld with the viewer to become one. The pieces hang to the floor extending out into viewer space, spreading and shrinking to the touch. These free-flowing entities cannot be ignored as they impose themselves on the audience in their vertical and horizontal orientations. In this respect Bjarnason uses chance and accident while simultaneously and carefully orchestrating the result. While his metal sculptures are minimalist and full of right angles, his drawings and paintings betray his preference for soft, organic, biomorphic shapes that meander, travel, wander and reunite as loose dynamic forms. Bjarnason who uses dynamite to work with metals in his sculptural installations shows a healthy respect for nature which is supreme in the Northern European hemisphere from where he comes. By detonating metals allowing their shapes to arise from the very explosion to which he subjected them, he deploys allows natural occurrence to manifest while to an extent controlling the outcome. In their final morphology Bjarnason’s pieces appear to have some relationship to the work of the German Romanticist Caspar David Friedrich who in some of his works depicts icebergs in myriad crystalline fragments.

Bjarnason’s drawing and painting installations can be considered mysterious, or surprising because of their use of the time element. They evolve in time from a series of performances or moves that result in abstract works at times hard edged and at others organic. They are durative in nature rather than simultaneist because they result from a series of accidental yet orchestrated moves in time. While fascinated with dualisms in his aesthetic such as daintiness and strength, or abstract and organic he is anything but simple or Descartian in his development. This artist is multi-faceted and complex both in his total oeuvre and in his two and three-dimensional pieces. In his two-dimensional works Bjarnason reconfigures his digitally manipulated photo based works into symphonies of light and shadow.

Bjarnason is a multi-talented artist with degrees in art, architecture, and design from top universities around the globe. He has exhibited internationally and has garnered an extensive bibliography.

He has taught at several universities and received numerous architectural, art and academic awards.
Two documentaries have been made on his life and work.


Columbia University, New York: M.Sc. II. In Architecture & Building Design
School of Visual Arts, New York: M.F.A. in Painting & Sculpture
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI: B.Arch.
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI: B.F.A. in Painting & Architecture
University of Iceland, Department of Law


HP Garcia Gallery, New York, NY (cat.)
Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, Old Westbury College, SUNY, L.I., NY
HP Garcia Gallery, New York, NY (cat.)
Snug Harbour. Newhouse Center for Contemporary Arts/Smithsonian, S.I., NY
“EXploding MEaning”, The Municipal Art Museum of Reykjavik (art book)
Kopavogur Museum of Art, lower sculpture gallery, Kopavogur, Iceland
"Silent touch" , Nordic House, Young Artist of the Year, Summer Exhibition,Reykjavik, Iceland (2 cat.)
Gallery Solon Islandus, Reykjavík, Iceland
Haugesund Art Society, Haugesund, Norway
Hafnarborg Institute of Fine Art, Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
Drammen Art Society, Drammen, Norway
Stavanger Art Society, Stavanger, Norway
Hafnarborg Institute of Art, Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
Henry Moore Gallery, Gulbenkian Hall, Royal Collage of Art, London, GB
American Cultural Foundation, Reykjavik, Iceland
Slunkariki, Isafjordur, Iceland
Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France


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