For all their bold, gestural brushwork, the largescale paintings of Akureyri-based artist Guðný Kristmannsdóttir (born 1965) are not executed in a spontaneous, expressionist manner. Rather, they emerge from a long and deliberate process of first conjuring a wild and mythical beast as the subject — whether it is an insect laughing hysterically or a peacock with a strap-on dildo — and slowly building the painting surface by creating dynamic juxtapositions of thick impasto, loaded with color, with thin washes of paint and even raw ground to bring the beasts to life. They appear as fecund and full of mischief; their joy is contagious. Play Me is the title of one of the works. Note that this is not necessarily meant as an invitation to play, as much as it seems an enticement to dispense with one’s inhibition and enter the artist’s realm of sensuous delight.
Artist: Guðný Kristmannsdóttir