2_1_ScanMag_69_Oct_2014_Text:Scan Magazine 1
Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Iceland
For the last twenty years, Kópavogur Art Museum has played a vital part in promoting art and culture in the community.
Attraction of the Month, Iceland
Contemporary art close to the community’s heart Boasting over 4,000 items in its collection, Kópavogur Art Museum – Gerðarsafn showcases the very best in modern and contemporary Icelandic art. Founded in honour of the prolific artist and sculptor Gerður Helgadóttir, the progressive museum has become a pillar in the cultural life of the community. By Stephanie Lovell | Photos: Kópavogur Art Museum
Once you’ve exhausted the galleries in downtown Reykjavík, it is well worth making the short trip to neighbouring municipality Kópavogur to visit its beautiful art museum with a focus on modern and contemporary art. Standing on an old seabed among large rocks formed by glacial incisions, Kópavogur Art Museum – Gerðarsafn is a reflection of its surroundings and provides a suitably unusual setting for pioneering exhibitions. Gerðarsafn
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(literally “Gerður’s museum”) refers to Gerður Helgadóttir, a forerunner of threedimensional abstract art in Iceland. Although she only lived to be 47, Gerður produced an astounding body of work, including sculptures, mosaics and stainedglass windows for churches in both Iceland and Germany. After her death, 1,400 of her pieces were donated to the Kópavogur arts fund and a museum was opened in her honour – the only museum
in Iceland to have been named after a woman. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, the museum remains a cornerstone of the area’s vibrant cultural scene, which includes the Natural History Museum, the Iceland Music Museum and the concert hall Salurinn. “Gerður was the first woman to take the lead in sculpture, working with iron and bronze. Thanks to her spirit and will, she became one of the most respected Icelandic artists,” says Telma Haraldsdóttir, the curator of Kópavogur Art Museum. “Gerður’s work is well known among Icelanders. They will all recognise her mosaic wall mural on the Customs House in downtown Reykjavík. She also made stained-glass windows for Skálholt Cathedral, which was built on the site of the first bishop’s seat in Iceland, a place of great historical significance, as well as for Kópavogskirkja, the oldest church in Kópavogur and symbol of the town, which visitors to the museum can easily go and see.”
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