Jóhannes S. Kjarval


The two paintings in the last room at Kling & Bang depict Icelandic landscapes, while a touch of the artist’s imagination turns these into otherworldly scenes. While human time passes, the landscapes change slowly, allowing us to witness the same views by people thousands of years apart.

Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (b. 1885, d. 1972) was one of the pioneers of Icelandic art in the 20th century and is one of the country’s most beloved artists. His connection to and interpretation of Iceland’s natural environment is thought to have taught Icelanders to appreciate it anew and to have encouraged pride in the country’s uniqueness and the world of adventure to be discovered within it. Kjarval’s subject matter can be categorized into three main groups: landscapes, portraits, and fantasies or works of imagination. These often overlap, however, so that all three kinds may be found on the same canvas.

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