ABOUT THE ARTIST

GUÐJÓN KETILSSON (b. 1956) lives and works in Reykjavik, Iceland. In his over forty-year career he has held over thirty solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions internationally, i.e. Australia, China, the Nordic countries, Spain and the US, as well as in most art museums and art spaces in Iceland. 
Ketilsson is the recipient of the Artist of the Year 2019 award in Iceland, among other art prizes.

In his works, Ketilsson is mainly occupied with drawing and sculpture. His sculptural works integrate a range of intersecting formal, spatial, material and art historical interests. His study of the human condition is mostly through its primary vehicle, the body and how through its absence and presence, time, memory and history can be explored. In his recent works he explores language, writing and drawing as cognitive tools, as direct extensions and testimonials of our thinking processes. He explores possibilities of regarding text as drawing, of text as image. Found objects that man has designed according to his needs but has set aside, are often given a different role, a kind of afterlife, in Ketilsson's sculptures.

His recent exhibition projects include a solo show in Reykjanes Art Museum, Iceland (2019), several group exhibitions in Iceland (2018) and The International Print Center in New York (2017).

His works belong to collections of all main art museums in Iceland, as well as to art museums abroad, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His art works have been commissioned for and can be seen in various places in public space, in Iceland. 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS FROM 2000

•  2019  Teikn, Reykjanes Art Museum, Reykjanesbær,  Iceland
•  2019  Smiðsbúðin, Reykjavík
•  2018  Stories, Wind and Weather Window Gallery, Reykjavík
•  2017  New Works, Kompan, Alþýðuhúsið, Siglufjörður, Iceland
•  2017  One set – Bare between, Harbinger Gallery, Reykjavík (with Jóhanna K.Sigurðardóttir)
•  2016  Paintings, Hverfisgallery, Reykjavík
• 2016  Sidetrack, The Corridor Gallery, Reykjavík
• 2014  New Works, Hverfisgallery, Reykjavík
• 2012  Cairn, Gallery Sign, Reykjavík
• 2012  Melancholia, The Shed, Reykjavík
• 2012  Extensions of the Head, Luise RossGallery, New York City, USA
• 2011  Coherence, Hafnarborg Centre of Culture, Iceland (with Hildur Bjarnadóttir)
• 2011  Crymogea Publication House, exhibition at the launching of a publication on the works of Guðjón Ketilsson 
• 2010  Imprints, Luise Ross Gallery, New York City, (with Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir)
• 2009  Roles, ASÍ Art Museum, Reykjavík
• 2009  Et Cetera, Icelandic Folk Art Museum, Svalbarðsströnd, Iceland
• 2009  Pardon Statues, Reykjavík City Library
• 2005  Á Seyði, Angró, Seyðisfjörður, Iceland (with Birta Guðjónsdóttir)
• 2004  Tools, ASÍ Art Museum, Reykjavík
• 2003  Cloud, Hallgrímskirkja Church, Reykjavík
• 2000  Fragments, ASÍ Art Museum, Reykjavík

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS FROM 2000

  • 2020  What it Seems - Reality on Canvas 1970-2020, Kjarvalsstaðir, Reykjavik Art Museum
  • 2020  Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, Tendenser 2020, F15, Moss, Norway
  • 2020  Material:Wood, Hafnarborg Culture Centre, Iceland 
  • 2020  After All, Gerðarsafn - Kopavogur Art Museum, Iceland
  • 2019  Condition: Draft of Contemporary Art History in Iceland, Reykjavík Art Museum
  • 2019  Treasures of a Nation, The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • 2018  Other Hats - Icelandic Printmaking, The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • 2018  Dialogue across generations, LÁ Art Museum, Hveragerði, Iceland
  • 2017  Upstairs, Hverfisgallerí, Reykjavík
  • 2017  Houses, Arion Bank, Reykjavík
  • 2017  Other Hats - Icelandic Printmaking, International Print Center, New York City
  • 2017  Literally, Hafnarborg Culture Centre, Iceland
  • 2016  Hairy Matter, PLADS Artspace Aarhus, Denmark
  • 2015  Turning twisting, Clay7, Stykkishólmur, Iceland
  • 2014  1884-2014 – Selected works from the collection, The National Gallery of Iceland
  • 2014  Summer Show, Hverfisgallery, Reykjavík
  • 2014  A posteriori: House, Sculpture, Reykjavík Art Museum
  • 2014  Iceland, Artists respond to Place, Scandinavia House, New York City
  • 2014  Iceland, Artists respond to Place, The Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York
  • 2013  Nordic Triennial of Contemporary Art; Eskilstuna, Sweden
  • 2013  Under the Clear Sky, Reykjavík Art Festival
  • 2013  Old Treasures, The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • 2012  Betoni Laboratoriet, Samsø, Denmark
  • 2012  Pleasure & Functionality, Árnesinga Art Museum, Hveragerði, Iceland
  • 2012  From Iceland, Luise Ross Gallery, NewYork City
  • 2011  Insight, The Factory, Hjalteyri, Iceland
  • 2011  Perspectives – On the Borders of Art and Philosophy, Reykjavík Art Museum
  • 2010  2010 Beijing International Art Biennale, China
  • 2010  Þjóðleg fagurfræði, Árnesinga Art Museum, Hveragerði, Iceland
  • 2010  Into the Tussock - Contemporary Art from Iceland, The North Dakota Museum of Art, USA
  • 2010  I Vesterveg, Bergen, Norway; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Copenhagen, Denmark; Lerwick, Shetland     
  • 2009  In Deep Water, Hafnarborg Cultural Center, Iceland
  • 2009  Collectors, Hafnarborg Cultural Center, Iceland
  • 2009  Valleys and Hills, Ólafsdalur, Steingrímsfirði, Iceland
  • 2008  Picasso in Iceland, Árnesinga Art Museum, Hveragerði, Iceland
  • 2008  Water Carrier, Reykjavík Art Museum
  • 2008  Wanwood, Reykjanes Art Museum, Iceland
  • 2007  Kulturremisen Brande, Brande, Denmark
  • 2006  Group Exhibition, Gallery Turpentine, Reykjavík
  • 2006  Painting after 1980, The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavík
  • 2006  Sense in Place, Site-ations International, Zaragoza, Spain
  • 2005  Quantity equals Quality, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavík
  • 2005  K2005, Roda Steen, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2003  NKS Dalsåsen, The Nordic House, Reykjavík
  • 2003  Reykjavík Association of Sculptors´ Anniversary Show, Reykjavík Art Museum
  • 2003  Ferðafuða, ReykjavíkArt Museum
  • 2001  2001-Dalsåsen, Nordic Art Center, Dalsåsen, Norway
  • 2001  Sculpture by the Sea, Tasmania & Sydney,Australia
  • 2000  The Coastline, Art in Public Space,Reykjavík
  • 2000  Teglt í tré, Árnesinga Art Museum, Hveragerði, Iceland

WORKS IN PUBLIC ART COLLECTIONS

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
The Arkansas Art Centre Foundation, Arkansas, USA
Municipality of Samsø, Denmark
The National Gallery of Iceland, Iceland
Reykjavík Art Museum, Iceland
The Living Art Museum, Iceland
Telemark County, Norway
The Nordic House, Iceland
South District Tax Office, Iceland
Arion Bank, Iceland
Siglufjörður Healthcare Centre, Iceland
Siminn, Iceland Telecommunication Inc. Iceland


AWARDS

•  2020  Artist of the Year, Iceland. Presented by The Icelandic Visual Arts Council
•  2004  The Children’s Choice Award for book illustrations, Gerðuberg Cultural Centre, Reykjavík
•  2001  Award of the Library Fund of Authors, Iceland
•  2000  DV Cultural Award for Visual Art, Iceland
•  1998  Award on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Einar Jónsson Museum, Reykjavík

EDUCATION

•  1980  Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Canada
•  1978  The Icelandic College of Art and Crafts, Reykjavík

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