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Thursday, September 18, 2014

reykjavik art museum

I apologize for the delay in the Iceland posts; I came down with a severe case of delayed jet lag.  I had this post all prepped to finish yesterday, and then tiredness hit me like a train.  I slept longer last night and had more caffeine this morning, so I'm functioning a bit more like my pre-Iceland self again.  And now, back to your almost-regularly scheduled post.
One of my favorite ways to experience another culture is through their art.  When making our Iceland itinerary, we added a visit to the Reykjavik Art Museum along with our visits to the Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, and various restaurants.  I visited the museum on our last day in Rekjavik and decided to visit the location that houses the modern art exhibits - not because I'm a huge modern art fan, but because I didn't feel like walking extra miles to the location that houses their landscape paintings.  This turned out to be a pretty great idea.  
The museum fit the Icelandic/Scandinavian style aesthetic perfectly.  Many of the buildings and houses we saw in Reykjavik were box-like and many were built from concrete.  The sides of the buildings were flat, the angles right, the windows small and square.  This museum was basically an elevated version of the rest of the architecture seen in the city - with a bit more metal and flair.  

An Erro exhibit was up in the main gallery, and while my initial reaction was a mix of the regular aversion/suspicion I have of modern art, the pieces quickly grew on me.  The pieces were mainly collages and large scale paintings. 

These ginormous paintings were my favorite.  I loved the painting above ("Gauguin") because it featured some of my favorite paintings in a cool new way and gave me a different perspective on them.  Same with "Matisse" below. 
An adorable family with small children was walking around this exhibit while we there, and while I couldn't understand what they were saying, it sounded a lot like the mom kept asking the kids what they thought of the pieces -- and the kids kept responding!  Icelanders value art, literature, and music very highly, and it was awesome seeing a real family teaching their kids about this appreciation in person!  The museum was also very kid friendly and made it easy for children to experience and learn about art.

Another part of the museum held an art library that included this Tin Tin comic book in Icelandic.  Isn't it an awesome looking language?  After three days in Iceland I can understand...none of it. 

I really enjoyed our quick visit to the Reykjavik Art Museum and hope to visit the other locations if (when?) we make it back to Iceland.  Until then, I'll satisfy myself to enjoy my own local art -- and the Icelandic art postcards I brought back with me. 

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