Shifting Light & Color


Fog Swept Cargo: Art from the Faroe Islands

Scandinavia House, NYC

For those who want to escape from the City heat, I recommend you take in the Scandinavia House exhibition Fog Swept Cargo on through the 6th of July which features seven contemporary artists, each different in their approach to artmaking. Curated by Kinna Poulsen exhibition includes seven versatile visual artists whose works range widely in terms of expression, media, and technique: Hansina Iversen, Rannvá Kunoy, Tóroddur Poulsen, Hanni Bjartalíð, Randi Samsonsen, Alda Mohr Eyðunardóttir, and Jóhan Martin Christiansen. By including a broad range of media from graphic art, abstract painting, textiles and installation,  the viewers get a sense not only of the visual arts on the Faroe Island but what it is like to be there. There are 40 works of art displayed that talk about the weather and the fog.  The fog contains both elements of light and of darkness, reduces the visibility of objects, and provides us with several threads of meaning.

It is Poulsen's hope that the viewer notices a great joyful light, especially light in the dark, but also a melancholic feeling of volatility and exposure and a sense of being alert to what is approaching on the horizon. Fog Swept Cargo exhibition begins with a wall poem by Tóroddur Poulsen along with one of his works from the STEINPRENT (the Faroese word for stone lithography) the workshop where international artists congregate to produce printed works.

The first words were:

"ship" "papa" and "greenland"

then I started saying

"dirt" "sand" and "rocks"

and gave shape to the world

of my toy cars

i wasn't allowed to play with one day

because I had to hear about

"god" "angels" and "hell"

emptiness was the song

I heard most after that

but i tried to give it another verse

filled with dirts sand and rocks

so i could once again

dream of ships and play with cars

while papa and god fished for angels in greenland

and then hell didn't really exist anymore

Hansina Iversen, Purple Rain 2023

The intense cool white of the canvas behind the lightly washed color of Hansina Iversen (above) ethereal has the scale and feeling of the New York School of Painters who pushed size as much as they could.  Iversen's organic forms move back-and-forth within the canvas, pushing the medium towards the immaterial.

ranna kunoy 2023

Ranva Kanoy's shifting symbols, signs, numbers and shape also create new forms of immateriality with shimmering pigments that are constantly changing color. The enigmatic shapes glisten and change with the direction of the lighting.

TÓRODDUR POULSEN, Wavelengths 2023

There is humor and irony in the dots and patterns or Toroddur Poulsen whose images are created in such a way that they create a new form of critique patterns.

There is a certain humor, and also poetry in Poulson's prints who often works with figures that are repeated in such a way that they create new patterns.  Also produced in the  graphic workshop STEINPRENT, the  focal point for a large part of the development of contemporary art since it started years ago.

HANNI BJARTALÍÐ, Untitled 2023

Like a contemporary memento mori, Hanni Bjartalíð reminds us that we cannot take everything with us to the grave in his humorous and loving look at the fragility of mankind with their love of possessions.

Randi Samsonsen, DROP DEAD GORGEOUS BALLS 2021

Randi Samsonsen's "Drop Dead, Gorgeous Balls" hanging sculpture combines the seriousness of  the sculptural form and the abstract materials, associations, with the  humorous poetry of the titles of the work.  It's all about the material and the associations, the material evokes in the viewer on the one hand soft dangling sensuous fabric while at the same time they are clearly anchored in a serious and dark tone by noose-tied rope.

Alda Mohr Eyðunardóttir', to change what was intended

Alda Mohr Eyðunardóttir's large work "to change what was intended" just blows me away with its  materiality and melancholy.  There is a shifting light and color created by the various elements of stone, wire, wool and silk.  Look long enough at the work and there is a surprise- what the form really invokes in its shadows is the landscape, a longing for home and the culture of the Faroe Islands.

Fog Swept Cargo was curated by Kinna Poulsen and organized by Scandinavia House in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Industry and Trade of the Faroe Islands. Scandinavia House is grateful for additional support for the exhibition provided by Ellen Braestrup Strickler and the Bequest of Birgitta Dill. The exhibition is open through the 6th of July.

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