Anna Jóelsdóttir: Near Chaos

There is turmoil in the world, too many dots to connect; we are many outsiders floating around lost centers. I want my work to reflect that near chaos. – Artist Statement

Of the openings I went to in Chelsea last night, I saw a lot of more, or less, successful toyings with geometric shapes and color (nostalgia much?). What a relief then, to come upon Anna Jóelsdóttir’s show priest chews velvet haddock at the Stux Gallery.

For this exhibition, the Chicago-based Icelandic artist produced mylar installations, paintings, a really extraordinary journal, and a big game of pick up sticks. While that may seem like quite a range of objects, they were very much unified by a stark, sprawling, detailed aesthetic that was precise yet evocative. It was too crowded to get a good installation shot last night, so I pulled the images above from Stux’s website. The artist folds, cuts, and otherwise manipulates the painted mylar into a variety of complex forms. The mylar shows her typical thin streaks and spurts of color on a white background.

When the Bough Breaks

Jóelsdóttir’s paintings, also on white backgrounds with pulsing color connected by thin lines, create poetic yet direct images. Somehow even where there is chaos and tension, there is also a sort of peace. I’m not sure how well these paintings reproduce here, but seeing them last night I was struck by how refreshing and clean the white background was, and how well the artist used the thin crawling lines to explode the space. They felt very personal and immediate. I like how they reconcile what ought to be opposite characteristics, like emotion and coolness, and strength and delicacy. They’ll be up through the New Year if you have a chance to go by, and I recommend you do. More about the artist on her website.

Bent Horizons

5 thoughts on “Anna Jóelsdóttir: Near Chaos

  1. I had one of those moments Thursday afternoon where I forgot what day it was, and I was thinking how I’d like to go to the opening tomorrow. Then I remembered it was Thursday and hustled over. But yeah, I would check it out.

  2. I took a chance and stopped by Stux yesterday on my rounds…thx for the heads up – this is truly an exceptional exhibit. I was having a chat with the owner of the gallery whom I know for quite some time and told him of this great post you wrote and he wanted me to email it to him…and I did last night…so there!

  3. As many times as I’ve been in Stux I’ve never spoken to Stefan. I’m told he’s a nice person and perfectly approachable but every time I see him he looks angry about something and I can’t bring myself to say hello.

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