Elías B. Halldórsson

Work from the collection

In Sverris Room of Hafnarborg there is currently an exhibition of graphic works from the collection of the museum by Elias b. Halldorsson (1930-2007).

Elias B. Halldorsson was an Icelandic artist born in 1930 in Borgarfjordur East. He began his studies at the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts and then moved abroad for further education in art, first to Stuttgart in Germany and later to Copenhagen in Denmark. Elias held his first solo exhibition in 1960 in the Bow Room of the National Museum of Iceland and in 1992 he exhibited for the first time in Hafnarborg.

In the year 1993 Elias donated the graphic works that he had made until that time, to Hafnarborg. The works were around 68 pieces from year 1963 to the end of the 20th century. During his career, Elías used both oil paint and graphics in his art. His graphic works are mostly woodcuts showing diverse subjects ranging from daily life to sensual acts and motifs inspired by poems or other texts. The exhibition includes works that Elías designed for the poetry of his son, Gyrdir Eliasson.

The exhibition depicts a world of an artist who began his career in the mid twentieth century, always went his own ways and sailed alongside mainstream art. While the paintings of Elias B. Halldorsson have been mainly abstract, there is a narrative present in his graphic works and his interest in literature apparent. The exhibition depicts a world that often seems obscure but also cute, powerful and rich of ideas when it comes to the solid cutting into the wood. The artist manages to deliver the atmosphere in the form of simple woodcuttings where the material and subject matter create an interesting world.