Erró is an Icelandic Pop artist! He was born Guðmundur Guðmundsson in 1932 in Ólafsvík, Iceland and studied engraving, fresco, and painting at the Academy of Oslo. He began exhibiting his work in the mid-1950s, and in 1989 he donated his archives to the City of Reykjavík, establishing the Erró Collections within the Reykjavík Art Museum. The Hafnarhús location is the home of the collection, and works from the collection are always on display.
The exhibit while we were in town was The Making of Erró 1955-1964 – from the exhibit description: The Making of Erró explores the development of the artist during the years 1955-1964, which is a complex and spectacular period in his art and in European art history, when he was the first artist to create “collage paintings.” The exhibition illustrates in broad terms how Erró gradually moved away from expressionism and started to make collages, which he then reproduced in paint on canvas. At that time he also made various visual experiments with painting, text-collages, assemblages and happenings. The works were made against a background of the colourful culture and art world of Paris, and later New York, where he became familiar with the consumer/media society of the United States, and its stimulating art world.
It was fascinating to see the interplay of his collage work and the paintings, and the absurd juxtapositions of the subject matter. The exhibit also included some of his notebooks, which they had open in one spot under a case (which is always a little frustrating since you know there’s more) but there was a monitor set up that virtually leafed through the rest of the pages. There was a wall of 3D assemblages which I particularly enjoyed. And always neat to learn more about an artist I’d never heard of before – in addition to the art work, the exhibit had historical photos and texts setting the stage for the time period.