As the second chapter of the INTRO development program, O—Overgaden is excited to welcome the solo exhibition by selected artist Sóley Ragnarsdóttir, which will open 5 November 5pm
Sóley Ragnarsdóttir’s first institutional solo exhibition Organizing Principles unfolds as a detailed and hyper-ornamented artistic universe, a total installation taking off from a sculptural approach to painting, where the aesthetic language and stories evolve from the artist’s newly established life in Thy, by the North Sea. Eyes as big as ocean buoys hang from the ceiling by fishing ropes and glow in front of amber-colored windows. Sculpturally installed paintings with carved wooden frames and sweeping feet, a series of pointillistically decorated napkin works, and graphic wallpaper wave through the first floor of O—Overgaden in a seductive environment where nature and painting intertwine.
Ragnarsdóttir builds up her works from synthetic and natural materials in layers: acrylic, oil, epoxy, sunflower seeds, amber, and ocean-sharpened pieces of glass adorn canvases as well as napkins and surfboard materials. First and foremost, Ragnarsdóttir is a painter but her pictorial language is allowed to extend from the canvases to all exhibition elements. In that sense, the artist invites us to step into a fascinating, aestheticized world flirting with kitsch and drawing lines to the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as to the artist’s Icelandic origin. The decorative tradition of craft has long figured as inferior to fine art, but Ragnarsdóttir shakes things up and directs attention to the artistic qualities of decoration as something that can also be situated within the scope of contemporary art.
The ocean plays a key role in the aesthetic as well as conceptual layers of the exhibition. When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the world, Ragnarsdóttir left her home in Berlin and moved to Thy. Life among amber hunters, fishermen, and surfers has made a profound impact on the artist’s unique visual language, and with Organizing Principles she directs our eyes towards the fertile and life-giving symbiosis that can occur when otherwise separated materials, stories, and worlds meet.
Sóley Ragnarsdóttir (b. 1991) lives and works in Thy in Northern Jutland. She holds an MFA from Städelschule, Frankfurt (2014–19) under Amy Sillman and Monika Baer, and has exhibited at Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Historisches Museum in Frankfurt, Jean Claude Maier in Frankfurt, and Kunstforum in Darmstadt.
INTRO is Overgaden’s customised development program for young artists in Denmark, culminating in a solo exhibition accompanied by a publication. INTRO is a three-year pilot project, generously supported by Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond.