Other Hats: Icelandic Printmaking

International Print Center New York

508 W 26th St, 5th Floor, New York

April 13 – June 10, 2017

International Print Center New York (IPCNY) is pleased to present Other Hats: Icelandic Printmaking, a group exhibition showcasing the breadth of printmaking by Icelandic artists. Featuring screenprints, etchings, digital work, artist’s books, and 3D prints, among other works, by over twenty intergenerational Icelandic artists, the exhibition also includes prints by select international artists who have spent enough time in Iceland to have absorbed the ethos of the country. The work includes underlying themes of storytelling, mythmaking, portraiture, landscape and mapping, and the interrogation of materials.

The exhibition’s title Other Hats: Icelandic Printmaking has two meanings: first, printmaking is often a practice done in parallel with other media and disciplines, and second, Iceland’s uniquely small population often prompts people to hold two or more careers in parallel. For these artists, printmaking is a vital form of artistic expression that both draws from and contributes to their practices in painting, sculpture, and photography—and, in some cases, other disciplines altogether.

Exhibiting artists Magnús Þór Jónsson (Megas), one of Iceland’s most renowned songwriters; Hallgrímur Helgason, one of the country’s celebrated authors; and Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, also known as Shoplifter, whose work in fashion design has included collaborations with Björk, are just three striking examples of this multidisciplinary approach. One of Björk’s artist’s books, Um Úrnat frá Bjork (1984), will also be on view.

"This exhibition is an occasion to ask artists about the thought process behind making prints as distinct from working in other media. It offers a selection of ingenious approaches to printmaking in Iceland, by artists working in and out of the country," explain co-curators Ingibjörg Jóhannsdóttir, a master printmaker and school headmaster (Reykjavík), and Pari Stave, a museum administrator and freelance curator (New York).

“My main profession is making up songs and performing them. The urge to make visual art has not succeeded in changing that fact. But if drawing is needed, drawing is done,” says Magnús Þór Jónsson (Megas), who series of self-portrait etchings will be on view.

Artists include: Arnar Herbertsson, Birgir Andrésson, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Dieter Roth, Eygló Harðardóttir, Georg Guðni, Guðjón Ketilsson, Hallgrímur Helgason, Helgi Þorgils Friðjónsson, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, Hrafnkell Sigurðsson, Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Kristján Daviðsson, Leifur Ýmir Eyjólfsson, Magnús Þór Jónsson (Megas), Per Kirkeby, Roni Horn, Sara Riel, Rúna Þorkelsdóttir, Rúrí, Sigurður Árni Sigurðsson, Sigurður Atli Sigurðsson, Sigurður Guðmundsson, Sólveig Aðalsteinsdóttir, Þóra Sigurðardóttir, and Valgerður Guðlaugsdóttir.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue published by IPCNY featuring an essay by Icelandic novelist and businessman Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson on the Icelandic phenomenon of wearing multiple professional hats. Additionally, the catalogue will include an essay by the co-curators on the history of printmaking in Iceland, along with entries on the artists and statements about their work.

Extensive free public programming will include live music by Megas (Magnús Þór Jónsson) on April 13, an interactive drop-in space Print & Friends Unltd. on April 15, and a live podcast interview Person, Place, Thing with Hallgrímur Helgason on June 1.