Reykjavík Art Museum – Ásmundarsafn – is devoted to the works of Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982). Large scale works are arranged outside in the garden, with additional displays inside the dome and pyramid that was the artist’s studio and home. Ásmundur was a pioneer of Icelandic sculpture, his subject matter ranges from the sagas and folklore to family and everyday life to science and physics.
Ásmundur also did much of the design of the unique studio and living space, in 1942-59. He felt that the Nordic architecture using wood as a construction material was not a suitable model for Iceland as a generally non-forested country. He looked to other so-called barren lands such as Greece and Egypt for forms and materials.
For sculpture material he also thought outside the box, using cast Icelandic quartz and cement, since it was cheaper than marble or stone. As to the work itself, “Sculpture? Taking material, shaping it and letting the light play with it. It is a game of light. Light and material talk together in sculpture. Lines and the dissection of space create consistency amidst changeability.”
It was a drizzly, overcast day when I visited, but the space was bright and welcoming. There was a small shop area, and with a few tables where you could have a coffee (included with admission, just don’t take it into the galleries) and peruse reading materials. I really enjoyed the non-squareness of it, and could imagine that it would be a neat space to work in.