press release

The exhibition T E X T shows a selection of text-based art works by 50 Icelandic and international visual artists. The works all belong to the private art collection of Reykjavík and Berlin based collectors Petur Arason and Ragna Robertsdottir, whose collection of contemporary art has reached over 1,000 works since the early 1960s until today.

On display here are works by many of the most important contemporary artists, most of which are friends and colleagues of Arason and Robertsdottir. Many of these connections have become ground for further encounters of Icelandic artists with their international colleagues and have played a major role in the dynamic art scene of Iceland.

Businessman Petur Arason and artist Ragna Robertsdottir operated the exhibition space Second Floor, together with artist Ingolfur Arnarsson, at their home in Reykjavik in 1992–97. There they invited many important international contemporary artists to show their art and then acquired many of their works. These acquisitions created the basis for their art collection.

Arason and Robertsdottir continued to collect contemporary art and in 2003 they opened SAFN: Contemporary Art Collection on three floors in the same building, which they operated in collaboration with the City of Reykjavik. SAFN was open to the public until 2008. There the couple presented a large part of their collection, as well as around fifty temporary exhibitions of Icelandic and international artists. In 2014 they opened two exhibition spaces titled SAFN; at Bergstadastraeti 52 in Reykjavík and Lewetzowstrasse 16 in Berlin, offering their guests in both locations to experience selected works from their collection.

Birgir Andresson, Robert Barry, Joseph Beuys, Thomas A. Clark, Hanne Darboven, Tacita Dean, Steingrimur Eyfjord, Robert Filliou, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hreinn Fridfinnsson, Hamish Fulton, Douglas Gordon, Franz Graf, Kristjan Gudmundsson, Sigurdur Gudmundsson, Jon Laxdal, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Joseph Kosuth, Mark Lombardi, Richard Long, Max Neuhaus, Yoko Ono, Roman Opalka, Richard Prince, Karin Sander, Bjarni H. Thorarinsson, Ben Vautier, Ryszard Wasco, Lawrence Weiner

Curator: Birta Gudjonsdottir