Gerður Helgadóttir


Gerður (1928-1975) was a pioneer of abstract sculpture in Iceland and created works in iron, bronze, clay, concrete, stained glass and mosaic. As an artist Gerður was both productive and versatile. She was the first Icelandic artist to study in Florence in 1947 at the sculpture department at Accademia di Belle Arti under the supervision of sculptor Romano Romanelli. In 1949 Gerður moved to Paris and started her studies at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Her main teacher was the Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine, a pioneer of Cubist sculpture. Gerður quickly adapted and absorbed the creative trends of her surroundings in Paris where she lived through her career. Gerður was awarded the Order of the Falcon by the Icelandic President in 1974 for her contribution to Icelandic art. Her works evolved continuously throughout her career, often shaped by her various interests. Large and powerful works and proposals for public space marked the beginning of a new period in Gerður´s artistic practice near the end of her life. They give insight into her ambition and prove the artist had still much left undone when she tragically passed away  at only 47 years of age. Gerður has gained a place among the most important 20th century sculptors in Icelandic art history.

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