Louisa Matthiasdottir

Paintings and Works on Paper

November 30, 2013 – January 11, 2014

Press Release

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present its fourth exhibition of works by the much-admired Icelandic painter Louisa Matthiasdottir (1917-2000). The artist is best known for landscapes of Iceland and figure paintings, all realized in crisp and blocky shapes and saturated, bright colors.

The exhibition will comprise a selection of large and medium-sized landscapes of Iceland and Maine from the 1970s through the 1990s. Unlike her paintings of the austere Icelandic countryside that is virtually without trees, the Maine landscapes include strongly vertical trees at the edge of water or leading into a wooded landscape. The exhibition will also include small watercolors of Reykjavik and Paris.

The artist studied in Copenhagen and Paris and was a prominent younger member of Iceland’s first avant-garde. In 1942 she moved to New York where she attended Hans Hofmann’s school. Along with a group of fellow former Hofmann students, including Robert de Niro, Sr., Larry Rivers, Nell Blaine, and Jane Freilicher, she helped to foster a new sense of relevance for representational painting, and a synthesis between the visual world and abstraction.

The artist’s work has been exhibited and collected widely throughout the United States and in Iceland. Her paintings are included in many private and public collections, including the Tate Gallery, London, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. A retrospective was presented at the Scandinavia House in New York in 2004, and it traveled to Iceland and Europe.