press release

In the course of his career, the Icelandic artist Sigurdur Gudmundsson has expressed himself in most media – photography, text, sculpture, painting, performance. The exhibition at Moderna Museet Malmö focuses on twenty of his early photographic works, called “Situations”, from the 1970s and 1980s.

In the first half of the 1960s, Sigurdur Gudmundsson saw nature as an omniscient authority. Nature was a mirror of the soul, reflecting the pure and the good. The search for truth lay therein, and by extension, the encounter with art. The spiritual and immaterial values expressed in Sigurdur Gudmundsson’ philosophy were, about the same time, prevalent also in the Fluxus movement. Both Fluxus and the artist Dieter Roth influenced Gudmundsson in the mid-1960s. Gudmundsson’s early works also contain references to René Magritte, Joseph Kosuth and Caspar David Friedrich.

A series of photographs, in the format of visual poems, shows the spectator Sigurdur Gudmundsson in an absurd situation. Gudmundsson has said that his art has largely centred on exploring what is unknown to him. Perhaps this can explain his digging in sand next to a stack of books in Structures (1977), his search for balance in Composition (Study) (1978) and Dialogue (1979), or his looking/hiding under a paving stone in Event (1975). The “Situations” are often about searching, but maybe also about longing away. And despite being occasionally comical, the images convey a distinct gravity when shown together as they are here. Absurdity and occasional comedy shift into a mood of melancholy and a flight from life on earth as we know it.

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Sigurdur Gudmundsson: Situations
Kuratoren: Magnus Jensner, Andreas Nilsson