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Árni Páll Jóhannsson

Árni Páll Jóhannsson grew up in Stykkishólmi and before he moved to Reykjavík he had gone on a study trip to England. There he first became acquainted with the new trends in art that were to shape his own artistic creation: I went to England from Stykkishólmi and while I was there I happened upon an exhibition where I saw works that ignited me.

    Árna Pál's art has its origins in the crucible of the 1970s when Fluxus and conceptual art was reaching maturity in the hands of Icelandic artists. But his work also has a strong hint of minimalism – the idea that visual art should be as minimal as possible, that nothing belongs there except what is necessary to convey the content of the work.  In the works of Árna Pál you can see how these ideas fuse together: The play and humor that were one of the main characteristics of Fluxus art, the conceptual approach of concept art and the clear presentation of minimalism. Árni Páll uses various methods and works in different media and materials. The oldest works in the exhibition are photographs from his first exhibition in Galleri SÚM, taken in 1975. There are portraits of the artists Birgi Andrésson and Bjarna H. Þórarinsson, who were then students at the Fine Arts and Crafts School. But these are not just portraits because in the pictures their heads are tied with white and black  cloths – it's a concept or some kind of Fluxus game. In the younger works, however, you can see how the method becomes more and more disciplined and concise, the approach to the subject more cautious and the presentation simpler. The game and the humor are never far away though.

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