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    INGENIOUS ICELAND : TWENTIETH-CENTURY ICELANDIC PAINTINGS FROM THE ANTHONY J. HARDY COLLECTION
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    The University Museum and Art Gallery is delighted for this opportunity to show more than 80 Icelandic paintings, sculptures and drawings from the collection of Mr Anthony J. Hardy.  Historically reminiscent of the painterly traditions of the Nordic School of Scandinavia, Icelandic artists departed from the well-established parameters of northern European sea- and landscape painting during the 20th century.  Although many of the best-known local painters were trained in Denmark—a larger neighbouring country with an established art school and cultural scene—they developed with time a more distinctive Icelandic style influenced by the local terrain, mythology and folklore.

    This retrospective of select Icelandic painters documents a century of continuous creative emancipation as well as a constant documenting engagement with the island’s community, nature, beauty and vastness.  Throughout the years and social change, it is Iceland’s own culture that produces pictorial compositions and vision of rural life and leisure.  Whereas Abstract art became popular in the mid-twentieth century and shadowed the international interest in cubism and abstract expressionism, the conservative political atmosphere and Iceland’s ambition to remain independent and self-sufficient led to a more isolated though deeply traditional art movement.  This eclectic selection presented here to the public for the first time gives testimony of inevitable artistic energy, and we thank Anthony for sharing with us the tokens of his long-lasting adoration of Iceland and its artistic talents.


    Gunnlaugur Blöndal (1893-1962)

    The Boathouse

     Oil on canvas

     H. 80cm x W. 100cm

     1950-1960

     (ANTHONY J. HARDY COLLECTION, Inv. No. 7)

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