We first visited Reykjavik's main art gallery near the harbour and were distinctly underwhelmed. There was a very jolly installation on the ground floor comprising several large fans placed flat on their faces, blowing streams of tape out in large circles, which was impressive, but otherwise it was dire. The same ticket afforded us entry to the Sveinsson gallery, however and although it was late in the day, we decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad we did, it's a beautiful place.
The building itself was designed by Sveinsson in a Middle Eastern style, with a square base and central domed roof. A crescent has been built on one side to extend the exhibition space, which works well. We were greeted by a very friendly woman who gave us a brief resume of the exhibits and offered coffee.
I was blown away by Sveinsson's work. As an admirer of Moore and Hepworth, it was very interesting to find one of their contemporaries in another country, creating work which echoes their style. Sviensson is particularly good on women; he seems to have a knack of capturing the familial love mothers, sisters and daughters engender with a tenderness of form which is very moving. Until I was informed otherwise I though he was a female artist, his understanding of women seemed so innate.
The sculpture is displayed both indoors and around the small garden, where the larger pieces have the space to spread their expansive limbs. This museum is well worth a visit if you're keen on sculpture. I'd certainly go again.
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