Amanda Riffo receives Artist of the Year award 2024


The Icelandic Art Prize 2024 was awarded on March 14th in Reykjavík. The awards provide recognition to outstanding visual artists and exhibitions. 

Amanda Riffo MLV 2024

Amanda Riffo

Amanda Riffo: House of Purkinje, 2023. Ljósm. Claudia Hausfeld

Amanda Riffo: House of Purkinje, 2023. The Living Art Museum. Photo: Claudia Hausfeld


Amanda Riffo: House of Purkinje, 2023. The Living Art Museum. Photo: Claudia Hausfeld

Amanda Riffo (b. 1977) receives the Icelandic Art Prize as Artist of the Year 2024 for her solo exhibition House of Purkinje, in The Living Art Museum.

Riffo is a French-Chilean artist who has been based in Reykjavík since 2012. She graduated from the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in 2002 with an MA in Fine Arts. Her works have been exhibited in Europe, South America and Japan, where she was an artist-in-residence in 2012 and 2013. Riffo has since participated actively in the Icelandic art scene with solo exhibitions at the artist-run space Open in Reykjavik in 2018 and Skaftfell in Seyðisfjörður in 2019. She has also participated in various group exhibitions, including Sequences XI, the artist-run International Biennial in Reykjavík, in 2019.

House of Purkinje, curated by Sunna Ástþórsdóttir, cleverly synchronises many different narratives, from epistemology (theories of perception) and optics, through her own experience of the patchwork economy of the arts, as Riffo casts a critical eye on contemporary art and its mechanisms. Not only does Riffo’s exhibition reflect her talent for combining dissimilar topics into simultaneously similar and distorted objects, but the whole exhibition is a twist on itself, a depiction of every artist’s nightmare: running out of time when installing their exhibition. Thus, the humour in Riffo’s work is especially noteworthy, making those working in the art field cry with laughter; the execution of each object so effectively and convincingly playing a part in her staging of an “unfinished” art exhibition.

The jury considers Amanda Riffo’s House of Purkinje a uniquely fascinating exhibition that appears at first as an exhibition that is not-quite-ready for its opening. But which, upon closer look, reveals each object in the chaotic, worksite-like space to be an artwork that reflects the challenges and the labour conditions artists face in their work within the field in a brilliant way. This shifts the reality of the exhibition and suddenly makes each object a staged version of themselves, as if on a film set.

Brák Jónsdóttir. Ljósmynda: Þórir Hermann Óskarsson

Brák Jónsdóttir. Photo: Þórir Hermann Óskarsson

Brák Jónsdóttir. Possible Oddkon 2023

Brák Jónsdóttir: Possible Oddkin, 2023. The Nordic House’s Greenhouse in Reykjavík.

The recipient of the Motivational Award is Brák Jónsdóttir (b.1996) for her exhibition Possible Oddkin in the Nordic House’s Greenhouse in Reykjavík Since graduating, she has initiated various visual art projects and exhibited in a number of art museums, festivals and exhibition spaces around Iceland and abroad.

Art can heal

Art Can Heal: The Life and Work of Sigríður Björnsdóttir

Rauður þráður Listasafn Reykjavíkur

Hildur Hákonardóttir: Red Thread at Reykjavík Art Museum. Photo: Vigfús Birgisson

Að rekja brot Gerðarsafn

Tracing Fragments, Gerðarsafn. Photo: Vigfús Birgisson

The award for Publication goes to Art Can Heal: The Life and Work of Sigríður Björnsdóttir. The book is about Sigríður Björnsdóttir, an artist and innovator in the field of art therapy, being mainly written by teacher and artist Ágústa Oddsdóttir, who has studied Sigríður’s extensive career for many years.

The exhibition Hildur Hákonardóttir: Red Thread curated by Sigrún Inga Hrólfsdóttir at Reykjavík Art Museum received an award for the Retrospective of the Year.

Finally an award was given for the  Group Show of the Year to Gerðarsafn for the exhibition Tracing Fragments, curated by Daría Sól Andrews.  

Hreinn Friðfinnsson (1943-2024)

Hreinn Friðfinnsson (1943-2024)

Hreinn Friðfinnsson: Clearing, 2013. Birt með leyfi i8

Hreinn Friðfinnson: Clearing, 2013

Hreinn Friðfinnsson: Five Gates of South Wind, 1971-1972. Birt með leyfi i8

Hreinn Friðfinnsson: Five Gates of South Wind, 1971-1972

The Honorary Award 2024 was bestowed to artist Hreinn Friðfinnsson. Sadly Hreinn passed away earlier this month. His memory was honored during the ceremony and Ólöf Kristín Sigurðardóttir, museum director of the Reykjavík Museum, recalled his lifetime achievement.

Hreinn was a continual influential force in the Icelandic art field since the mid-sixties. Although Hreinn resided abroad for most of his life, his work has always been well-known to subsequent generations of Icelandic artists. His art continues to captivate us with its depth and creativity as well as his vision of the human spirit, the conceptual universe, and the imaginary world he has brought to life in his artwork.

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