Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson
Mountainsides and Pebbles on a Beach, 2011
Commissioned by Scott Mueller and Dealer Tire
Hildur at her opening
Click to enlarge, it's worth it see how the installation weaves around the offices.
This work has 27 parts, installed in two relational groups. One group has 15 parts in a warm palette and the other group has 12 parts in a cool palette of black and grey. The warm group is dominant, with the cool group as a harmonic. It presents as a frieze, with the parts of each group separated by intervals that suggest different rates of movement occurring at the same time.
Each part is 42 in. high. The first part in the warm group is 180 inches wide, with each successive part in the group decreasing in width by 12 inches. Conceptually, the parts of the cool group start at 192 inches wide, with each successive part of the group decreasing by 16 inches – however, I have modified the formula to present only, in sequence, what would be visible if the pieces in the warm group were laid over.
This work was commissioned in early 2010. The first significant element of the work was exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art from September 2010 to March 2011.
Over the past 20 years Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson has created several extraordinary series of works based upon images of brain scans, celestial objects and, most frequently, the landscape of Iceland. She works in a variety of forms, including ink drawings and intricate embroideries, but her principal works are paintings upon silk thread that are woven together to create shimmering, indefinite surfaces.
“By bleeding dye (akin to watercolor or thinned-down paint) into each thread,” explains critic and curator Saul Ostrow, “Jónsson creates expanses of subtle atmospheric color and delicate traceries of line” that “conjoin her impressions of the sensuously austere character of Icelandic landscape to formalist issues.”
The artist was born in Iceland in 1963. After an Icelandic childhood, her family moved to the United States for five years while her father, a doctor, pursued further training. Three of those years, from 6th through 8th grade, were spent in Cleveland. After studying at Reykjavik Junior College, she returned to Ohio in 1983, enrolling at Kent State University with the intent to study architecture. Increasingly drawn to art, she studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art for several years before continuing at Kent, completing her B.F.A. in 1991 and an M.F.A. in 1995. Throughout her career she has lived primarily in the Cleveland area, spending part of each year in Iceland, where she has a home.
Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson has presented her work in one-person shows in Cleveland; at Scope, New York; at FAVA in Oberlin; and in Akureyri and Reykjavik in Iceland. Notably, her work was celebrated in a one-person exhibition at MOCA, Cleveland in 2005. Her work has also appeared in group exhibitions in Kyoto, Japan; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Barcelona, Spain; and Paris, France. She won the Cleveland Arts Prize in 2008.
Her paintings are in public and corporate collections, including the Reykjavik Art Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Ohio Arts Council. Jónsson is represented by the William Busta Gallery, Cleveland.
[adapted from bio on web site of Cleveland Arts Prize: clevelandartsprize.org/awardees/Hildur_Asgeirsdottir_Jonsson.html]