ICELAND (2020)- CONTEMPORARY ART (4V)- NUDES, ETC.
Progressive Icelandic art in the 1970s was largely a challenge to abstract art and the country’s heritage of landscape painting, expressed through Conceptual Art, Performance Art and the use of abject materials and objects from daily life (see Icelandic Art IX). Early in the Eighties there was talk of a resurgence of painting in Europe, especially in Italy and Germany. The painting in question, termed alternatively „new“ or „wild“, exhibited many of the characteristics of raw, old-time expressionism, with an admixture of popular imagery. In 1983 local painting of this ilk spawned not one but two large group exhibitions in Reykjavik a few months apart. The Reykjavik Art Museum featured works that showed mostly the influence of recent Italian, German or American painters, for instance the aggressive canvases of Jón Axel (1956), with their compendium of religious ecstasy, sex and extreme psychological straits.