Anna Jóelsdóttir

priest chews velvet haddock

November 9 - January 10, 2009

Stux Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of installations, paintings and drawings by Icelandic artist, Anna Jóelsdóttir. This exhibit is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an interview by New York art historian Jovana Stokic. Jóelsdóttir’s new body of work reflects her refusal to stay in one place. As she goes back and forth between Iceland and the United States, she also moves beyond her historic use of the canvas. In her idiosyncratic approach to objects such as sticks or diaries or big three-dimensional installations, one can always trace her closeness to the logic of painting.  The artist’s previous series of paintings speak eloquently about this ongoing dialogue within the language of abstract forms that are always somehow related to the logic of representation. The new series of paintings entitled “chaos” let the artist tear down or build up forms that are always in a flux. At the same time, her meticulously painted sticks show her idiosyncratic way of solving the dichotomy between hard-edge geometry and her curvilinear abstraction.


Anna’s new three-dimensional installations – paintings on mylar, are site-specific. She explains her relationship to space: “I am learning as I go… It is both thrilling and scary -- … I approach this problem as a painter, I try to see the space as a painting, try to imagine things in a space like they would fit into a painting.” In this context, her work finds friendly company in the works of artists she admires such as Richard Tuttle, Sarah Sze, Kara Walker, and Mary Heilmann, among others. Apart from formal investigations, these works are meant to be viewed within a loose concept of metaphorical narrative. The title of the whole exhibition, “priest chews velvet haddock,” reveals Anna’s keen interest in evoking surrealist use of language. Her title refers to fragments of thoughts as equivalent to sounds and partial images. The viewer is trusted to “fill in” and make his or her own meaning. Seen as a whole, on canvas, objects, and installations, Anna’s painting is intuitive and process-oriented, always revealing distinct open-endedness.