Sigurður Ámundason

Born: Reykjavik, Iceland (1986)

Lives and works: Reykjavik, Iceland

 

Hljóðið (2016) [The Sound]

Ballpoint pen and colored pencils on paper

150.5 cm x 149.5 cm

 

Dýrðin í kjaftinum (2017) [The Glory in the Beast’s Mouth]

Ballpoint pen and colored pencils on paper

150.5 cm x 150 cm

 

Velouria (2017)

Ballpoint pen and colored pencils on paper

150.5 cm x 150 cm

 

Óendurgoldin ástar-maskína (2017)

[Unrequited Love-Machine]

Ballpoint pen and colored pencils on paper

150.5 cm x 149.5 cm

 

Dýrðin í kjaftinum: Annar hluti (2017)

[The Glory in the Beasts Mouth: Part II]

Ballpoint pen and colored pencils on paper

150.5 cm x 150 cm

 

MDx- siJWÐASP-453!! (2016-17)

Ballpoint pen and colored pencils on paper

150.5 cm x 150 cm

 

Sigurður Ámundason’s drawing, painting, and performance explore human psychology, with specific concern for the complexity of individual identity and the possibility of multiple or split selves. He creates abstract, epic narratives around complex personas, depicting internal struggles situated within larger, collective contexts and myths related to cycles of life and death. The scale of his work has shifted recently, enlarging in relation to the wider scope of the subject matter he takes on in his drawings. Ámundason cites artists, such as Francisco de Goya, as influences on how he approaches the tradition of history painting through his drawing.

 

The drawings included in this exhibition are produced with a common, ballpoint pen on paper, complimented by colored pencils. At the end of 2016, the artist embarked on this series of new works, which are larger in scale, and more complex than previous work, playing with surreal-looking, psychological landscapes inhabited by the same central character. This unnamed abstract figure in MDx-siJWÐASP-453!! (2016-17) breaks down in the other drawings, repeating the self or body parts, as in Dýrðin í kjaftinum (2017) [The Glory in the Beast’s Mouth], or dispersed beyond reconstitution into the landscape itself, as in Velouria (2017), as he sorts his way through the world, and through his (split) self.

 

These are spiritual quests which reference an oblique mythology. For instance, Hljóðið (2016) [The Sound], has a comic book-like composition in which the same character moves through different parts of the central composition. This character appears to be on a journey through life (crouched at the bottom of the staircase) to the underworld (holding a torch as he descends into the swirling abyss), at all times searching for some kind of truth involving the self, love, and a search for the purpose of our existence.

 

Collective mythologies and origin stories which pertain to the larger questions addressed by Ámundason are what can bind individuals within society, and even lay its foundation. But instead of collective identification, the individual in the composition breaks down, questioning what constitutes a coherent and contained self. Instead of using myth to make a group of individuals identify commonly, he uses myth to make the individual question whether they may contain a group within themselves.

 

 

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