gunnar örn gunnarsson


Gunnar Örn (1946 -2008) is considered as one of the most important Icelandic artists, and he is represented in the Icelandic art museums as well as in the Guggenheim Museum in New York. As an artist he is self-taught, and he started exhibiting in the 1970’s. His works have previously been shown at Stalke Gallery in since 1997.  In 1988 he represented Iceland at the Venice Biennial.

In the 1980’s his artistic style was closely related to an Icelandic tradition with inspiration from nature and people’s connection with it, but in the later years he has developed a more abstract and spiritual style. His work is less expressionistic and surrealistic, more meditative, where colours and forms create calm and dream-like images. The colours are soft pastels, light and transparent. A recurring shape in the works is a white oval that is narrower at the bottom, which reminds one of a face or an upside down drop of water. Thus, this shape fluctuates between two of Örn’s traditional motifs: humans and nature.

Gunnar Örn’s works appear very open, where the interpretation depends on the viewer’s own approach, what one brings to the work. Thus one can see the works either as pure abstractions or as variations over light and landscapes.

Gunnar Örn  has since 1996 exhibited through Stalke Galleri on many solo and group shows.