Arngunnur Ýr’s new botanical series Onomea is rooted in influences from the lush vegetation of Hawaii. Arngunnur, who is from Iceland, is in the process of building a future residence on the Big Island of Hawaii, and her new work reflects the natural transition from the Icelandic glaciers to explorations of the place that is to become her new home. The works reference the typical flamboyance and jubilation of floral glory, the lushness and abundance of beauty and color, but also suggest an intensity of introspection both pictorially and of the artist herself. The works are intended to evoke a feeling of complexity and confusion while alluding to a deeper experience.
Through a labor-intensive process, Arngunnur explores the common depiction of paradise and turns it on its head. The works are psychological in nature, examining the dichotomy of life, transience, and temporal existence. Each flower has a beginning and an end and, in these works, the subtle voids and bleached-out plants become a suggestion of an otherness, their ghostlike quality and neutrality become an ironic focal point.
Arngunnur’s paintings also play with perspective. As often in her past works, they invite the viewer into a tantalizing deep interior while simultaneously discarding conventional rules of painting with offset flatness and a denial of correct perspective. Some works seem to be exploding out of the picture, a bombardment of detail, chaos and wild color.
Please join us for a reception with the artist on Saturday, January 7 from 4-6pm in our upstairs gallery at Minnesota Street Project.