The Museum is named after and dedicated to Iceland’s most beloved painter Jóhannes S. Kjarval (1885-1972). Opened in 1973, it was the first museum in Iceland ever to be made specifically for visual art exhibitions. The museum honours Kjarval with a permanent exhibition of its collection of paintings and drawings by the artist.
Kjarval was a living legend, a romantic bohemian. His roots lay in the old Icelandic rural community, but his life and art are tightly bound to the cultural awakening of the nation in the first half of the 20th century.
Before his death Kjarval donated a large collection of his work to the city of Reykjavík. The current collection consists of more than 3,000 works. The museum is a ten minute walk east from Reykjavík’s landmark Hallgrímskirkja Memorial Church.Karen Agnete
‘My Dreamland in the North’ is the title of a temporary exhibition of the works of the Danish-born artist, Karen Agnete Þórarinsson (1903-1992). In 1928, Karen Agnete married her Icelandic classmate at the Danish Art Academy, painter Sveinn Þórarinsson (1899-1977). With a new-born son, the young couple set up a home in the eastern part of Iceland.
Karen Agnete was fascinated by Iceland and Icelanders, and for six decades she painted and exhibited her works. This exhibition highlights the types of paintings she concentrated on, portraits, moods of nature, flowers and still life. The exhibition remains until 4th March.Architecture and Landscape
Snøhetta – Architecture, Landscape and Interior Exhibition is also on until 4 March. It showcases the internationally recognised architecture of the firm Snøhetta from Norway. The firm has won two open international competitions: The new Alexandria Library in Egypt and Oslo’s new Opera House in Norway, both landmarks in their respective countries.
The exhibition pays homage to the 20 year anniversary of Snøhetta and was first displayed at Oslo’s new National Museum in 2009. The current exhibition includes the highlights from that show.
Tàpies – Image, Body, Pathos
The exhibition Image, Body, Pathos starts 17th March and runs until 20th May. It includes paintings from more than seven decades of the impressive creative oeuvre of Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies. Tàpies, born in Barcelona in 1923, had a distinct influence on European painting in the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition gives visitors an up-to-date view of the artist’s astounding, lifelong productivity.