Hrafnkell Sigurðsson wins the Icelandic Art Prize 2023
The Icelandic Art Prize 2023 has been awarded to Hrafnkell Sigurðsson (Reykjavík,1963) for his work Resolution, part of the cycle of Billboard exhibitions.
The work Resolution, created from composite photographs in which we see small unfocused areas that form a mosaic, was exhibited on 450 advertising boards. Each of these areas is an enlargement of images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, showing the galaxies as they were millions of years ago. Sigurðsson selected fragments of images in between the galaxies, where there appears to be nothing to see, but in which, when enlarged, colours and lines appear. These moving images were shown outdoors, at bus stops and on advertising boards in Reykjavík, the Icelandic capital. The project is a collaboration between Reykjavík Art Museum and Y Gallery.
The artist, who also won the prestigious Icelandic Visual Art Award in 2007, uses photography as his main tool, although video, sculpture and installation also appear in his work. His art depicts the collision of contrasts between nature and culture, rough nature and refined culture, human nature and inhuman culture, where human symmetry and order confront the sublime and disorderly environment, with their threatening creations of non-disposable toxic waste.
Sigurðsson lived in London for more than ten years, where, at a distance from his roots, he was increasingly able to focus on projects related to Iceland and its landscapes. He has participated in various exhibitions, both in his native country and internationally.
Hrafnkell Sigurðsson is represented in the collection of the CAM – Gulbenkian Modern Art Centre with the work Conversion Two (2006), purchased in 2007 from i8 Gallery. The work was shown in the exhibition Ingenuidades – Fotografia e Engenharia 1846-2006 (Ingenuity – Photography and Engineering 1846-2006), from February to May 2007, in the Temporary Exhibitions Gallery of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Curated by Jorge Calado, this exhibition sought to illustrate the birth and evolution of engineering, through a display of masterpieces from the history of photography, from 1846 to 2006.