Pétur Magnússon


Pétur Magnússon (b. 1958) was born in Reykjavík. After high school, he attended the Icelandic School of Arts and Crafts (forerunner of the Iceland University of the Arts), then continued his studies at Accademia delle belle Arti in Bologna, Italy, and finally at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunste in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After graduation in 1986, he lived in Amsterdam until 2003 when he returned to Iceland. In the Netherlands, he was one of the founders of the Boekie Woekie art bookshop, which is also a gallery and a publisher. He worked at the company for some years, and Boekie Woekie presented his art at the Art Frankfurt fair in Germany in 1996. Pétur studied painting in Italy and printmaking in the Netherlands, and this is evident in his older works. Over time he has moved into photography and sculpture, often bas-reliefs, and a combination of steelwork and photography is a common method. His art seeks to challenge the senses while offering new potential for perception of the environment. Often, his works are site-specific. Material and perspective often play a major part in distorting the environment in a philosophical and humorous manner.

“The work being made for Sequences is a continuation of something I started earlier this year in Listasafn Árnesinga. It will be made up of works from the collection of the Living Art Museum with the permission of the artists. It is based on an old tradition where a painter paints a painting from a Salon exhibition in Paris. The painter paints paintings by other painters. Like often on these Salon paintings, the works are seen from a slight angle. In my work, this angle will be used to create a perspective that challenges the exhibition space”. 

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Photo by Simone de Greef